Knockout Nation: Mayweather-Marquez Back On, Ortiz Quits, Pac-Cotto, Mosley Stuck, Hagler-Minter
Victor Ortiz Upset in Entertaining Slugfest
Golden Boy Promotions took a huge gamble last night (June 27) putting their future star hopeful Victor Ortiz (24-2-1, 19 KOs) in with the hard-punching, experienced slugger Marcos Maidana (26-1, 25 KOs). The ambitious test resulted in one of the best fights of the year, but ultimately proved disastrous for Ortiz, as he was overwhelmed and TKOd in the sixth round.Victor Ortiz paid homage to Michael Jackson with a medley of the King of Pops hits during his ring entrance. The young star was the emphatic crowd favorite at Los Angeles Staples Center, and looked to be on the verge of a highlight reel win after dropping Maidana in the first with a hard right.Maidana took the shot, and immediately rose to his feet to crack a reckless Ortiz with a huge counter right. Ortiz barreled to the canvas as if he had been shot in the face. Showing grit and perhaps a little too much machismo, the young prospect struggled to his feet on rubbery legs and commenced to wage war with Maidana. Both men traded bombs to the bell and received a standing ovation from the crowd.
In round two Maidana continued testing Ortizs chin with hard, looping right hands. Although Ortiz was the superior technician, the drama of the moment saw him abandoning his jab and better punching technique to brawl with Maidana on the inside. There, the Argentinean happily obliged and raked Ortiz with bruising hooks to the body and the occasional rabbit punch. But it was Ortiz who would prove a little better this round, countering with his own right that literally bounced Maidana off the canvas. Although clearly buzzed, the underdog was able to backpedal away and survive the round despite getting clipped again for another knockdown.The warfare continued in the third and fourth, with Maidana still having free reign with his right hand. Ortiz was gung-ho about ending the contest, and walked through the shots and landed several of his own stinging combinations to the head. Everyone was aware that Ortiz was ahead, but his insistence on going to war favored Maidana, who was only catching Ortiz because of the wild exchanges on the inside. This point was punctuated at the end of the fourth when Maidana again ripped a thudding right that elicited concerned ohhs from the crowd.
The key fifth round saw the fighters throw strategy out the door and commence trading hooks. Maidana proved to be sturdier, and Ortiz was visibly rattled when a right hook sliced open a gaping cut above his left eye. And before he could escape the round without further damage, Maidana strafed him with another right that grotesquely snapped his head. Ortiz never recovered, and Maidana pounced seconds into the sixth with a jarring straight right that made Ortiz visibly wince. He kept abusing Ortiz with the right until he finally collapsed along the ropes. With both eyes swelling and one cut, Ortiz shook his head at the referee, who seconds later on doctors orders stopped the contest.
In the post-fight interview, a humbled and dejected Ortiz explained honestly why he stopped, and even hinted at retirement. I was hurt. Im not going to go out on my back, Im not laying down for no one. Id rather stop while Im ahead. That way I can speak well when Im older, Ortiz stated. Well see what happens from here. Im young but I dont think I deserve to be getting beat up like this. I have a lot of thinking to do. Already, the armchair critics on the net are labeling Ortiz a quitter and even more amazingly a pussy despite helping to deliver a Fight of the Year candidate. Make no mistake about it, this wasnt a Roberto Duran no mas, frustration quit. It was a man having his will beat out of him. I will trust a fighter when he says hes had enough.
Still, if he continues hell have to fight against the quitter stigma for some time.
Mayweather-Marquez On for September 19
Doctors have cleared Floyd Mayweather to return to the ring in the fall. The former pound for pound king has rescheduled his comeback fight against lightweight champ Juan Manuel Marquez for September 19. "I am relieved to be cleared to fight as I was already looking forward to getting back in the ring," said Mayweather, who was forced to postpone the July 18 date due to a rib injury. "Trust me, September 19 is a great weekend for boxing, and all of my fans, of which there are many Mexicans too, can certainly hold on to their hats and sombreros when I get back in to the ring and show them what they have been missing these past 18 months. I will destroy Marquez and reclaim my rightful place as boxing's pound-for-pound king all in one night.. Don't miss it." Marquez, who will be fighting during Mexican Independence Day weekend, remains focused on the biggest fight of his career. "I am happy that Mayweather has been cleared to fight and we can get down to business on September 19," Marquez explained in a statement. "This weekend is not just an important weekend for boxing, but even more so for all of the Mexican and Mexican-American people I will be fighting for who will have a great reason to celebrate my win over Mayweather, which will be for all of the people and for the entire country of Mexico that night. I am sure of victory and si se puede- yes we can and yes we will!" Unfortunately, the fight will still be held on HBO PPV. If Mayweather has retained at least 65-70% of his skills, expect him to win this fight by late stoppage.
Shane Mosley in Limbo
While Mayweather, Pacquiao, and Cotto go about setting up blockbuster matches, welterweight champion Shane Mosley finds himself the odd man out.. You would think after destroying Antonio Margarito, Mosleys profile would be high enough to earn a megafight to close out the year. Unfortunately, it appears that Mosley offers too little return for the risk despite holding the 147 lb. title. Because of Mayweathers injury, he will look to face the Pacquiao-Cotto winner early next year if he gets past Juan Manuel Marquez. Mosley has stated at 37 years old he only wants megafights, and is through fighting contenders or what he deems are high risk-low rewards fights like Andre Berto and Paul Williams. With that said, Sugar Shane really doesnt have much choice. At this point his two options are to either sit on the shelf and not fight until next year, or keep his name viable with a fight to close out 2009. At press time, it looks like Shane is sticking to his guns and will actually sit out the rest of the year. With a divorce looming, maybe the next few weeks/months will bring a change of heart.
Pacquiao-Cotto Negotiations Moving Along for November 14
Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto look to be close in finalizing negotiations for a November superfight. Initial fight plans began the night Cotto escaped with a controversial split decision win over Joshua Clottey. Pacquiao was ringside and expressed to mutual promoter Bob Arum that he could defeat the Puerto Rican star and wanted the fight. Last week, Arum confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that the fight would be in Las Vegas, and Pacquiao would get the lions share of the purse. The disputed weight stipulation has yet to be finalized. Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach wanted 142 pounds. At press time, it appears both parties will settle at 145. When we fought Oscar at 147 he was not the world champion. Cottos a world champion at 147 so he will definitely be our toughest fight to date, Roach told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Shane lost to Cotto so whos the better fighter? Style-wise Shanes a little bit faster than Cotto. But either guy is fine.Cotto has been dismissive in his opinion of Pacquiao, arguing the Filipino phenom is being overrated courtesy of his wins over Oscar De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton.Its no concern of mine whether it is 145 pounds or not. That is the usual weight that we cut down to for the weigh in, and in the ringon fight nightI will go up 8 to 10 pounds, so actually during the fight I will weigh around 155, Cotto explained to Puerto Rican paper El Nuevo Dia. I'm not impressed at all by him and his so-called speed and power; he has two arms and a head, and so do I. Opportunity's in life arrive when they arrive, we deal with them when they get here. Expect an explosive night if this fight comes off.
Arthur Abraham Scores TKO Win
This past Saturday (June 27) on Showtime, middleweight titlist Arthur Abraham grinded down former sparring partner Mahir Oral to a stoppage win. After falling behind early due to low punch output, Abraham preceded to walk down Oral behind his trademark high guard and break him with hooks to the body and head. With the win, Abraham improves his undefeated record to 30-0, 24 KOs, and further puts pressure on Kelly Pavlik and Top Rank CEO Bob Arum to make a much needed unification match.My moneys on King Arthur if that fight comes off.
Throwback Fight of the Week: Marvin Hagler vs. Alan Minter (September 27, 1980)
It was a long time coming for Marvin Hagler. In 1980, before he was universally considered marvelous, the fearsome middleweight contender was seeking to win his first title.In 1979, he had a highly disputed draw in his first attempt against Vito Antuofermo. Already having a chip on his shoulder for his second try, champion Alan Minter exacerbated Haglers anger with the comment that no black man would ever take his title.Those famous last words proved to the catalyst for Hagler laying a heavy beating on Minter. Haglers great southpaw jab cut Minters left eye a minute into the first, and the challenger was able to rip left hooks from inside and outside.Minter fought gamely in the second and third, but Hagler proved too accurate, noticeably dishing out painful uppercuts and hooks on the inside. Two more cuts were opened up on Minters face and the referee opted to stop the fight and award Marvin Hagler the WBA and WBC middleweight titles. The fight was a milestone win for Hagler, but also became known for the disgraceful behavior of British fans, who threw beer cans and tried to attack Hagler before he could be officially crowned champion. Marvelous Marvin Hagler went on to become arguably the greatest middleweight of all time, making 12 defenses, winning 11 by knockout. Among his victims were legends Roberto Duran and Tommy Hearns. He would retire in 1987 after losing a controversial showdown with Sugar Ray Leonard and failing to secure a rematch. His final record stands at 62-3-2, 52 KOs. Alan Minter would only fight three more times after losing the title, going 1-2. He retired in 1981 with a record of 39-9, 30 KOs. Today, he and Hagler have made amends and become friends.