Sunday, March 6, 2011

Notes from the Hatton-Alvarez Card

·               For a shutout, that was quite an entertaining fight.  Saul Alvarez showed the boxing world what an elite prospect is supposed to look like.  He threw power shots and featured a full arsenal of punches.  Most importantly, he displayed a willingness to mix it up.  Alvarez's left hook may be punishing but his short right uppercut is going to put a few people to sleep before it's all said and done.  Matthew Hatton has nothing to be ashamed of and fought as well as could be expected with his natural disadvantages.
·               Alvarez reminds me a lot of Miguel Cotto.  He has that vicious left hook.  Like Cotto, he’s a stalker who doesn’t waste energy.  They both box flat-footed and look to land power shots.  They both have significant defensive flaws and poor footwork.  What might really separate the two is conditioning.  Cotto always comes into the ring in shape.  I’m concerned that Alvarez failed to make weight and his body didn’t look great.   I worry about Alvarez’s ability to go 12 tough rounds.  He already seems to fight only in spots.  Alvarez's true division might be middleweight.  He'll still be a beast there.
·               Alvarez also reminds me of former heavyweight contender and Rocky V star Tommy Morrison.  They both load up for power shots and are willing to take a punch or two in order to land their own bombs.
·               Did Ricky Hatton eat Kosta Tszyu?
·               In 2010, Sergio Martinez was still a junior middleweight champion.  I don’t think he would lose more than one round to Alvarez.  It’s nice that Alvarez has a belt and all but the kid still has a lot of work ahead of him.
·               Golden Boy needs to look at Alvarez as a developing fighter.  They did a great job matching him tonight.  Eventually, they will have to test Alvarez’s chin and conditioning.  The challenge is to keep him in entertaining fights as he continues to develop into a complete fighter.  Lou DiBella failed the entertainment part for Andre Berto.
·               Well, we have our first bad decision in a major fight this year.  To my eyes, Daniel Ponce de Leon cruised to a victory over Adrien Broner.  I had Ponce de Leon winning 98-92.  I had Broner winning only the 5th and the 7th.  The 10th round and the 3rd round were close.  That 99-91 card for Broner was a complete embarrassment.  If Broner wasn’t a hyped de la Hoya/Al Haymon fighter, he would have lost by four points easily.  Ponce de Leon was the aggressor, threw vicious body shots and tried to make the fight.  Broner wasn’t busy enough. 
·              California didn’t distinguish itself with having so many inexperienced judges deciding the Broner-Ponce de Leon fight.  I can live with one judge having fewer than five title fights, but two?  Too often, in a fight where one fighter throws a lot of body shots and the other fighter lands a lot of head shots, the guy who throws the head shots often gets the benefit of the doubt.  Broner’s counter rights looked good but they didn’t really hurt Ponce de Leon and there weren’t enough of them.  At least the judges recognized Broner’s counterpunches.  As Bernard Hopkins and Winky Wright’s questionable decisions prove, judges don’t often have love for counterpunchers.
·              As I predicted here,, Broner was overmatched tonight.  The goal with a rising prospect is to put him in an entertaining fight and have him look good.  Neither of those two goals was accomplished tonight.  Even though Broner got the win, he was timid, didn’t throw combinations and completely failed to inspire.  Golden Boy needlessly ruined the momentum of a promising prospect because of lazy matchmaking. 
·              A good point in the broadcast was made by Roy Jones: fighters like Ponce de Leon always look easy on tape.  Ponce de Leon seems slow and his punches are often telegraphed.  Yet his awkward movement, slight hesitation and wide punches have caused bad nights for many fighters.  If Golden Boy supports him, Ponce de Leon could still pick up a title at featherweight.  I would have him avoid Lopez or Gamboa.  However, because they are both promoted by Bob Arum, we don’t have to worry about those eventualities right now.
·              Broner will be back.  He has good skills; he needs to learn to seize the moment.  Hopefully, he will pick up some solid victories and regroup for his next big fight.
·              Max Kellerman shouldn’t have said that Manny Pacquiao is not fighting significant boxers.  Shane Mosley may not have looked good in his last two fights but he is still a top-10 welterweight with a history of springing upsets.  Mosley is a real fighter.  He may not beat Pacquiao, but his body of work has earned him the fight.   

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