See You At The Crossroads , We’re Already There ….

See You At The Crossroads , We’re Already There

At a time when both sports are in need of some rejuvenation , both Boxing and MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) , find themselves at a crossroads. Oscar De La Hoya and his Golden Boy Promotion , in spite of their stable of boxers , are vesting more into the world of Mixed Martial Arts, though not aligning themselves with either the UFC or Bellator , who just happen to the UFC’s biggest rival competitor. De La Hoya of late , is doing his best to promote his visible fighter , Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez , after the fighter’s lopsided unanimous verdict over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr . Now with a proposed mega-fight due to take place in mid-September, with Saul Alvarez facing Gennady Golovkin for the middleweight title . This should prove to be the “biggest fight” of 2017 on the boxing calendar , unless the much-anticipated fight takes place with Floyd Mayweather Jr comes out of retirement to face UFC fighter Conor McGregor . UFC President Dana White now seems to be on-board with latest piece of buffoonery. Bearing in mind the recent mismatches seen in some of the most recent bouts in the UFC , which have been title and non-title fights, I am not so sure fans will be prepared to meet the likely $59.95 PPV price for this particular freak-show .
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In recent months UFC has seen the decline of its biggest star with consecutive losses suffered by Ronda Rousey , whose career slide has been as fast as her supposedly being the next big female action star in Hollywood. It is unlikely Rousey will return to the octagon , where her career ascent was fast , but clearly because the opposition faced in the early stages of her career was simply mediocre at best. Hype in MMA is just about everything and it can also mean absolutely nothing. Beyond the proposed fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor , for which contracts have yet to be signed or a proposed date being set, other the continued emphasis of hyperbole that it will take place, the UFC can only promise that some of its biggest stars will be seen inside the octagon within the coming months . Proposed bouts within the Light Heavyweight Division will see Daniel Cormier defend his title against the division’s former champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones , in a bout which will bring about even more tension , given the apparent dislike each fighter has for the other.

The long-awaited return of another former champion can’ t come around fast enough as the former Welterweight Title holder Georges St Pierre makes a comeback. St Pierre was due to face Michael Bisping the UFC Middleweight champion , but with Bisping having suffered a knee injury , Dana White is now proposing “Rush” as he is more commonly known, face the division’s champion Tyrone Woodley . Georges St Pierre was adamant upon his return to the octagon , he had no wish to fight once again within the division . The fighter is considered greatest welterweight in UFC history and his record number of defenses remains a benchmark not only within the division , but among all of the weight categories within the UFC , with only Demetrious Johnson having made more double-digit defenses of a UFC title.

Among the Women’s ranks of the UFC , Amanda Nunes has now become the “Face of the Sport” , having toppled the division’s best among the Bantamweights . With their being only three weight categories within the UFC for women to fight at the professional level , it remains to be seen what other challenges lie ahead for this highly skilled fighter. I certainly believe she is capable enough of surpassing Ronda Rousey’s record in terms of the number of title defenses . Nunes’ rematch with Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 213 should prove to be a thrilling fight, with Shevchenko looking to make amends for her loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 196 .

I read a recent article, which tried to concoct a debate as to who has been the greatest Heavyweight Champion in UFC history . Consider the fact, no claimant to the title , has ever been able to make more than three successful defenses, speaks volumes as to how mediocre the division has been throughout its history. Randy Couture might well have won the title on more than one occasion , while also being the only UFC fighter to have held both the Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight titles simultaneously. Brief spells alone , Couture remains perhaps the division’s most well-known champion. The current champion , American -born Stipe Miocic , who is of Croatian ancestry , has already joined a select group of UFC heavyweights who have made two defenses of UFC Heavyweight Title. The division might just be the weakest in all of the weight categories within the Men’s Division of the UFC and at a time when boxing longs for an undisputed champion among the Heavyweight Division , it easy to understand the reason why there is no real interest in either category of the respective sports.

Stipe Miocic doesn’t fight for the glory , but he does seek make the sport and in particular his division a more respectable one . His greatest reward comes from the fact he is a fireman in his native state of Ohio. Miocic’s next bout is likely to be against a top-five contender within the division , with Dana White having the last say as to the challenger is likely to be. Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velazquez are the two leading contenders within division and it will be down to Dana White to make the pick, as to whom he believes would provide the most appealing and lucrative fight for the champion as well as the UFC.

I will continue to maintain until there is an undisputed champion in any weight division of boxing , the sport will continue to be an after-thought to even their most ardent fans. There has not been an undisputed champion in any weight category in over a decade and it has been fifteen years since the Heavyweight Division had a lone champion , with the division’s last undisputed champion being Lennox Lewis . Nowadays , it comes down to be anointed a lineal champion announced by Ring Magazine . Not unlike the winner of a beauty pageant being given a tiara made of cubic zirconium rather than real diamonds .

At present there are only two legitimately recognized claimants to the Heavyweight Title , with both boxers having unbeaten records . Deontay Wilder is the current holder of the WBC crown , while Anthony Joshua claims the IBF , WBA and IBO belts . I am not about to suggest , this decade of heavyweights have been among the best seen over the past twelve years , but it certainly does make a difference to know , we no longer have to put up with the idiotic claims that Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir Klitschko were the best things to have happened within the sport of boxing. The skills of both siblings were always questionable and the fact that in his latter years , Wladimir’s jaw was like a glass slipper along with his declining skills was proof of the fact he was an overrated champion. His fight record was littered with meaningless bouts , which padded his successful championship defenses .

Wladimir Klitschko’s last two professional fights ended in defeat, losses , one a unanimous loss, suffered at the hands of Tyson Fury and he then followed that up with a TKO (technical knockout) loss to Anthony Joshua. Now with his demands of a rematch against Joshua falling on deaf ears , there is no real reason why Klitschko should be rewarded with a second fight against his conqueror. Waiting in the wings as possible opponents for Joshua are , Joseph Parker , WBO title holder from New Zealand or a far more lucrative unification bout against Deontay Wilder. With so many international governing bodies presiding over boxing , a sport which remains in constant disarray , it should come as no big surprise , fans are leaving in droves. Boxing no longer has any real charismatic fighters or truly “ big draws” likely to lure in the crowds. Once prominent promoters, such as Don King and Bob Arum , have become aging dinosaurs , while the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and the somewhat retired Floyd Mayweather are now said to be breathing new life into the sport as promoters. One of the real issues for this sport , is the fact , it cannot escape its seedy past or an unclear future, where there does seem to be some lackluster talent laying claims to greatness.

The sport of boxing needs to be more streamlined , , properly regulated not just domestically but also on the international front. Corruption remains ever-present and while know some of the biggest names within the sport can earn millions annually and it should be noted there is little done to protect the well-being of the fighters should they fall upon hard times or suffer from a mishap inside the ring . These are some of the horror stories which often go unreported by the media or the governing bodies themselves.

When the UFC was purchased by the William Morris Agency for the unprecedented sum of $4.6 billion , it set about a great deal of intrigue for the once upstart organization. Dana White was still retained as President but , Frank Fertitta and his brother, Lorenzo Fertitta were able to walk away with over $2 billion apiece , while still retaining a small minority stake in the company. Self-made billionaires in their own right , they can now sit back and watch as the UFC enter its third decade of existence , while being one of the few professional sports’ entities in North America with over a $1 billion in revenues. The humble beginnings of the UFC and what it has been able to achieve since 1993 has been truly staggering. However, the question still remain , under a new ownership structure, will Dana White still be given so much power to hire and fire fighters as he sees fit, while signing them to contracts which in many circles might be seen as indentured slavery with their having few rights if any ? In recent months there has been dissension within the ranks of the UFC , with fighters such as Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz , leading the fray , questioning White’s authority , with UFC’s new owners offering little by way of any serious changes which would be of benefit to their biggest assets, the fighters .



Picture gallery and by clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in a reformatted size along with a narrative.

What do you believe is the biggest hindrance to the sport of boxing ? Also , can the UFC become an even bigger sport than its pugilistic counterpart while also creating household names ? If Conor McGregor can become the only UFC fighter among the highest paid athletes in the world , while the sport of boxing only has three boxers among the top one hundred , then surely MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) has to be doing something right.

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Tophatal ………………. 05/22/2017

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Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid …………. But F#k It I’m Going To Say It !

Some Things Are Best Left Unsaid …………. But F#k It I’m Going To Say It !

Ah the latest tidbit in the sports world that seems to be norm at present PGA Tour professional Tiger Woods made the formal announcement that he will not be playing in the US Open at Congressional Country Club , Bethseda , Maryland . And once again the bell seem to be tolling as most prognosticate whether or not Woods’ reign at the top is about to implode . The player is now ranked outside the top ten (ranked 15th in the latest rankings) of the World Rankings for the first time in over a decade . From my own standpoint the player apart from recurring injuries, Woods is now gunshy and is completely lacking in confidence . Now sliding down the rankings faster than a cheetah at full speed , it is becoming abundantly clear that we’re now seeing a player whose determination to win is still there but the physical attributes that made him a once dominant player no longer remains . His peers on the PGA Tour no longer seem to be intimidated by their once great nemesis . And this being the national championship I’m not sure that the second major of the season will be won by a US born player , it could well be won by a foreign player and therein lies the situation with regard to the PGA Tour. US talent is now merely about the players here winning the mundane events on the PGA Tour rather than the Majors (The Masters, US Open , British Open and PGA Championship) .

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I have got to admit I will be pleasantly surprised if the winner of the US Open is an American because simply put the inconsistency of Phil Mickelson , Hunter Mahan , Steve Stricker simply doesn’t cut it amongst the real fans of the PGA Tour . It is Woods who drives the meters and the gossip on the Tour while lesser lights are simply the topic of the moment .

Can someone remind me why it is that I simply ought to be interested in the career of Floyd Mayweather as a boxer ? Undoubtedly talented , Mayweather is now more widely known more for his outside the ring run ins with the law , rather than for anything that he has achieved within the ring . A multiple weight divisional champion , the fighter now hopes to challenge Victor Ortiz for his WBC welterweight title this September (venue yet to be arranged) , as Maywether will be making a return to the ring for the first time in almost 18 months since he last fought and defeated Shane Mosley in a bout that was about as entertaining as the viewing of a head on collision between two high speed locomotives.

Ortiz , twelve years Mayweather’s junior knows that this will be a step up in class and at the same time he knows that should he pull off the impossible and defeat the former titlist , then the world becomes his oyster with limitless opportunies to establish himself amongst the top fighters in the world . The sport of boxing has become mundane and the mere fact that the desired fight between Manny Pacquiao no longer seems to be a priority amongst either fighter or the respective promoters. All the talk and hype in the world won’t change the fact that the proposed bout was never on the cards to begin with . They say money talks bullshit walks , well walk it did , as there was such a stench created by Bob Arum , Mayweather’s own camp and co promoter Oscar de La Hoya of Golden Boy Promotions Inc.

When this bout actually takes place between Floyd Mayweather and Ortiz there may well be some passing interest there but I for one simply don’t believe that Mayweather is the draw that he once was ! His own failings as a father , a man and as an example to his children leaves a lot to be desired . And with the allegations of spousal abuse , verbal abuse of his children and the threatening of a witness with physical violence simply indicates that from a mental standpoint Mayweather’s faculties might not be all there . If Floyd Mayweather were to step away from boxing today he may well be sorely missed but from my own perspective the sooner he walks away the better off the sport will be !

Well the MLB Draft for 2011 (held in Seacaucus New Jersey) this past Monday , and before we knew it , it was over. Truth be known, it was something of a non-event given the fact that the highlights weren’t shown on either network television or on ABC/ESPN , Fox Sports or for that matter TBS . Instead the whole event was televised live by the MLB Network . There’s a reason why the MLB hierarchy cooperates with their broadcast partners but somehow this wasn’t a time they felt it necessary . Now don’t get me wrong but a from business standpoint I’m not so sure that the league itself much less its teams are on a sure footing financially. The ongoing saga with the Los Angeles Dodgers has become cannon fodder for the sports pages across the nation . And less we forget, the woefully inept the New York Mets in spite of the $200 million investment in the organization by hedge fund manager David Einhorn has me believing that the league has to intervene sooner rather than later.

The Pittsburgh Pirates were the beneficiaries of having the number one overall pick with the organization taking the UCLA Bruins’ Gerrit Cole as their choice. One can understand the reason why the MLB Draft plays second fiddle to the NBA , NFL in terms of their respective drafts and the mere fact of the visibility raised when the events are televised . Granted , there’s more of an interest in the NFL’s Draft and the mere fact that the draft geeks are front and center in assessing the merits of the decisions made by the respective general managers around the league. Inasmuch , as Bud Selig would like to sell us on the merits of the event I don’t really believe that the commissioner himself believes that other than the consumed fan who’s so into the draft there is a heightened interest in the decisions being made.

Well the madness has to stop , it is now or never but fu#k it , sanity has to enter the domain at this juncture. In the sports world where it’s about the immediacy of the here and now , in terms of what have you done for me lately ? In the NBA it appears that the vast majority of fans were already prepared to anoint the Miami Heat as the 2011 NBA champions. Having seen the San Antonio Spurs bow out in the first round of the postseason and as a fan that result was a profound disappointment to me ! The Dallas Mavericks simply made their way through the playoffs with consummate ease and then in the Western Conference Finals they simply manhandled the Los Angeles Lakers , the two time defending NBA champions .

The Finals’ match-up that many had been had desired didn’t materialize as we now have the workman like Mavericks teeing up against the star laden Miami Heat led by LeBron James , Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade . With the series now tied at two games apiece and the knives are out after a diabolical display on Tuesday night by James __ eight points though from a defensive standpoint the player stood his ground but offensively he was more of a detriment to his team . The knives will be out and directly aimed LeBron James. And this being the player who actually anointed himself ‘King James’ and then simply ran with it ? The two time league MVP had one of those games where nothing seem to have gone right but at the same time he rode into town announcing that this team would be good enough to win multiple titles __verbatim “not one , not two but three , four , five and why not six titles ” ? Hey LeBron let’s not get completely ahead of ourselves, you’ve already become an ingrate and are about as welcomed in the Cleveland area multiple doses of the ebola virus . Now you’re bringing your undoubted talents to South Beach but an ego that is large as the Grand Canyon will not make you all the more likeable at this juncture. I just hope for your sake at this moment in time should this team fail …….. you don’t choose to apportion blame elsewhere ?

The three point loss (83-86) told me a great deal about the Miami Heat and in particular about the ‘ Big Three’ on this team ! When placed under a great deal of adversity they are inclined to wilt under pressure and nowhere was this more self evident than last night . James was guilty of failing to deliver the goods and now the excuses will be made as to the reasons why and whether or not LeBron bears a great deal of that blame . While the protagonists out there were trying to make a case that James is now ready to wear the crown worn by Michael Jordan as the best player in the NBA . Here is simply another reason why those very same protagonists should simply shut the hell up and let history take its course , rather thrust upon LeBron James something that he has yet to deserve. It does a great disservice not only to the game but also to its image and Jordan’s legacy.

Lebron James may well yet become a truly great player and have a long and successful career in the league but as of now he’s yet to lead a team to a title and when last I looked , a runner up finish simply meant nothing to even the most ardent of fans !

On the flip side of the script Dirk Nowitzki simply showed why without him the Dallas Mavericks would simply be viewed as an also ran within the league . Now as they look to claim their first NBA title it will be interesting to see whether or not his teammates finally are beginning to believe that they are indeed capable of defeating the Miami Heat . It’s all well and good Jason Terry emblazoning a tattoo on his right bicep as an omen . But given the fact that Terry’s own displays during this series and the playoffs overall have been intermittent I’d say it’s time for him to get with the damn program !

There’s a great deal at stake for both teams in particular for the Miami Heat and their financial viability. Repeated losses over the last few years can’t hide the desperation of team President Pat Riley and Heat owner Micky Arison . The acquisition of Bosh and James wasn’t about merely a last ditch attempt to retain Dwyane Wade but also to shore up the financial coffers of the Miami Heat. Had they not been able to lure the two All Stars then in all likelihood Wade would have been playing elsewhere this season and with that the growing losses of the organization would be like a dead weight around the neck of the organization . Riley knows that a compelling series victory will bode well for the future of the Miami Heat and from a financial standpoint it would be greatly beneficial. As of now this series is far from over and the worrisome situation is that for LeBron James, his struggles continue in an NBA Final. Swept aside by the San Antonio Spurs in 2007 in the Finals of that year when James was a player for the Cleveland Cavaliers . That sole appearance until this year has been something of a nightmare for the player that many have stated has become the new “King of the NBA “ . Doesn’t a King wear a crown and just to add mere substance to those claims shouldn’t he have at least won something that actually resonates with the fans as a whole ? Style over substance means fu#k all but there are those who actually believe otherwise . How naive !

Game five is scheduled for tonight hosted by the Dallas Mavericks in what will be no doubt a sold-out American Airlines Center in Dallas , Texas . Vociferous Mavericks’ fans are sure to get behind Rick Carlisle and his team , with those very same fans being of the belief if they can eke out a victory then they are but a win away from winning their first NBA title . Can you imagine what the fallout may well be should the Miami Heat fail to win what many believe had been preordained ? I for one believe nothing is merely given to you without you actually deserving it ! And nothing that the Miami Heat has achieved so far would suggest that they deserving of winning the NBA title , merely because they are now in the Finals . It has been this sort of complacency that has been clearly visible with many of the players on this Hear roster , including James , himself .

Should Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks triumph this may well be right way for him to bow out of the game with his legacy firmly entrenched within the annals of the game and perhaps the best European player to have played in the NBA ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Simply chime in with a comment on the topics raised within this piece as you see fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it is gratefully appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ……………………………..

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) This December 3, 2010 file photo shows Tiger Woods of USA as he puts his hat back on as he walks off the 18th green after finishing the second round, at the 2010 Chevron World Challenge at the Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, California. Woods, a 14-time major champion chasing the all-time record of 18 won by Jack Nicklaus, said June 7, 2011 that he will not play in next week’s US Open golf tournament. Left knee and tendon pain has bothered Woods for the past month. “Not playing in US Open. Very disappointed. Short-term frustration for long-term gain,” Woods posted on his Twitter microblogging website. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK /GETTY IMAGES ……

(2) In this June 25, 2008 photo, golfer Michael Whitehead, who is currently a senior at Rice, poses for a photograph in Houston. Whitehead, who was first alternate from the Dallas qualifier, will replace Tiger Woods in the U.S. Open after Woods withdrew due to lingering issues with his left leg. AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Karen Warren ….

(3) PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL – MAY 12: Tiger Woods addresses the media after withdrawing on the ninth hole during the first round of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 12, 2011 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Woods announced June 7, 2011 that he will not play in the U.S. Open because of an injury to his left leg. Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images …..

(4) Phil Mickelson hits his tee shot on the par 4 10th hole during the third round of the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance at Muirfield Village Golf Club on June 4, 2011 in Dublin, Ohio. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

(5) FILE – In this April 30, 2010 file photo, Floyd Mayweather Jr. steps on the scale at a weigh-in ceremony before a WBA welterweight boxing title fight against Shane Mosley in Las Vegas. Mayweather, the undefeated six-time world champion, says on his Twitter feed Tuesday, June 7, 2011, he will end a 16-month hiatus from boxing when he faces WBC welterweight champion Victor Ortiz on September 17. AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File ……

(6) Victor Ortiz (left) the challenger makes sure that Andre Berto’s (left) defense of his WBC welterweight title will be a brief one . Ortiz would defeat the former title holder in a unanimous decision in the bout held at the Foxwoods Resort , Mashantucket ,Connecticut ,. Getty Images / Chris Borbon ……

(7) Miami Heat managing general partner Micky Arison, right, talks to president Pat Riley during a basketball practice for the NBA finals, Wednesday, June 8, 2011, in Dallas. The Heat will face the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series that is tied 2-2, Thursday, June 9, 2011. Do they now have something to be extremely worried about ? AP Photo/David J. Phillip ………

(8) DALLAS, TX – JUNE 08: LeBron James of the Miami Heat attends NBA Finals Media Availability on June 8, 2011 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images ………

(9) Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle applauds while Dirk Nowitzki (L) walks off the court during game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 7, 2011 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 86-83. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK /GETTY IMAGES …………

(10) LeBron James (C) of the Miami Heat is guarded by Jason Kidd (L) and Tyson Chandler of the Dallas Mavericks during game 4 of the NBA Finals on June 7, 2011 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat 86-83. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK / GETTY IMAGES ……..
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Mr Cotto Meet Mr Pacquiao , Mr Pacquiao Meet Mr Cotto ……….Gentlemen Please Box

Once again the fading sport of boxing seeks to enrich our lives with another of their extravaganzas. This time around it’s a welterweight title fight being broadcast via PPV ($54.95 11:00pm ET Saturday 14th November 2009). The two combatants will be WBO welterweight champion, Miguel Cotto (34-1,27 KO’s) who faces challenger, Manny Pacquiao (49-3-2,37 KO’s). This highly anticipated fight takes place this Saturday, at the MGM Grand Casino & Resort, in Las Vegas, Nevada. And the bout itself is being promoted and staged by Bob Arum of Top Rank Inc. , in conjunction with several of Top Rank’s media partners and patrons.

 Boxer Manny Pacquiao (L) smiles as he poses with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto during the final news conference for their bout at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino November 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand on November 14.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Boxer Manny Pacquiao (L) smiles as he poses with WBO welterweight champion Miguel Cotto during the final news conference for their bout at the MGM Grand Hotel/Casino November 11, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pacquiao and Cotto will meet in a WBO welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand on November 14. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The bout itself, will lure the real fight fans to see one of the sport’s modern day heroes in Manny Pacquiao. And though he hasn’t a welterweight title to his name. He’s viewed as the linear champion within the welterweight division. And Arum, as the promoter of both fighters is in the enviable position of making a great deal of money from the event and for both Cotto and Pacquiao. It is expected that the bout may well draw in excess 1.75 million buys,realizing in excess of $ 96 million from the anticipated buys alone. And when one adds in the gate receipts of between $10-$15 million , not including the international broadcast rights, concessions and memorabilia sales. And the bout is expected to gross in excess of $110 million. Arum, and neither of his fighters, have made it public as to what the split may well be, between the fighters. But it is expected that neither fighter will walk away with less $20 million each , once the accounting and financial details have been taken care of.

Pacquiao takes care of business with his dismantling and then devastating knockout of Ricky Hatton for the IBO light-welterweight title. Pacquiao defeated the Englishman with a second round knockout in their title fight. The venue was the MGM Grand,Las Vegas, Nevada.
And on the 2nd May 2009 , the whole world knew then , what we all continue to believe now. Manny Pacquiao is the best pound for pound boxer in the world.

Pacuquiao coming off two devastating wins over former champions, in Oscar De La Hoya (39-6, 30 KO’s) and then his sensational display in dismantling and then knocking out Ricky Hatton (45-2-32 KO’s). Well, it has led many to believe that the same fate awaits Miguel Cotto. And though the WBO champion feels that he’s the one with the far more accomplished skills as a fighter. The vast majority of us in the know, are fully aware as evidenced by the recent displays by Pacquiao. Skills may mean one thing but if you can’t back it up in the ring. In the end it all counts for nothing. Personally, I favor Pacquiao to end this fight in a knockout in the early to mid rounds of the bout. Especially, given the fact that Cotto’s skin is very much like porcelain. He’s never been known to be able to take a good shot to the chin. And when cut, his skin essentially opens up to any laceration by way of effective shots to the head. In essence , Cotto’s skin is like that of a newborn baby. He cuts all too easily and given Pacquiao’s proclivity to end his fights rather spectacularly. The only way I can see Cotto overcoming Pacquiao, is to dictate the pace of the fight and to try and use his reach advantage over the challenger. If not then this bout could finish in devastating fashion.

Fans and members of the  press  convene at  Yankees Stadium  at  a  press  conference  for the  upcoming   WBO  welterweight  title   bout  between   the title   holder  Miguel  Cotto  and   the challenger ,  Manny  Pacquiao  of the  Philippines .    At  the dais  is   Pacquiao's  trainer  Freddie Roach  ,  taking  questions  from the  press.     picture   appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Will  Hart  ..........

Fans and members of the press convene at Yankees Stadium at a press conference to publicize the upcoming WBO welterweight title bout between title holder, Miguel Cotto and the challenger , Manny Pacquiao of the Philippines. At the podium behind the dais is Pacquiao’s trainer Freddie Roach taking questions from the press and fans alike. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Will Hart ……….

Cotto’s resume’ as a fighter ,though not littered with as many high profiled names as his opponent’s fight record. Nonetheless, he’s faced some stiff opposition over the course of his career. But in many people’s eyes the loss to Antonio Margarito gave us something of a glimpse as to the vulnerability of the fighter. And even though it came back to haunt Margarito as to his actions. Nonetheless, we saw one of the more corrupt sides to the sport. And at the same time, how ineffective the governing bodies are with regard to the sport of boxing. It’s something that essentially has curbed the appetite of the fight fan in general. The laissez-faire attitude of the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBC has become an anathema to us all.

Cotto and  Pacquiao  pose  for the   press on the  hallowed  ground  of  Yankees  Stadium  in New York  City, New  York.   picture appears courtesy  of   ap/photo/Will Hart ................
Cotto and Pacquiao pose for the press on the hallowed ground of Yankees Stadium in New York City, New York. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Will Hart ................

Cotto’s most recent bout saw him win comfortably in defeating Joshua Clottey (35-3-0, 20KO’s,1-NC). A fighter who’s now on the downside of his career but someone who’s still respected amongst his peers. And that’s solely for the main reason he comes to bang and bang he does with the very best of them. And though it led to Cotto dethroning the then WBO champion. The bout, and the way it ended was non too impressive. Cotto did enough to win but he was nowhere dominant as he,himself had hoped to be.

Cotto stands  over  Joshua  Clottey in the  first round of  their WBO welterweight  title  fight.  Referee  Arthur Mercante Sr,  looks  on  at the events  .     picture appears courtesy  of  Top  Rank Inc.  - Chris  Farina  ................
Cotto stands over Joshua Clottey in the first round of their WBO welterweight title fight. Referee Arthur Mercante Sr, looks on at the events . picture appears courtesy of Top Rank Inc. - Chris Farina ................

As I alluded to earlier, if the champion is to prevail. Then, he’ll have to make use of all of the physical advantages that he can avail himself of. His opponent is a fighter ,who can either box his way through a fight , or he can indeed turn the bout into a slugfest between he and Cotto, on the night. The latter scenario, I believe wouldn’t at all bode well for the champion ! Cotto has to prove himself a worthy champion. A loss here, and in essence his career takes a backseat for the foreseeable future. A win for the challenger, further cements Pacquiao’s legacy as one of the all-time greats of the sport of boxing. And with the win would come another history making achievement. Winning the WBO welterweight title would make him the first fighter in history to win a title in seven different weight categories. And there haven’t been many boxers to have titles multiple weight divisions over the years. There’ve been but a handful , and all have had illustrious careers. If Pacquiao is to join them , which in all honesty I believe that he will. Then there’ll be no doubt in anyone’s mind as to who the best fighter has been this decade.


Mr Cotto meet Mr Pacquiao, Mr Pacquiao meet Mr Cotto. Gentleman ,Please Box
! This has the makings of being an instant classic and I surely hope that the event itself lives up to the hype ! It’s something that the sport of boxing surely needs !

NB Current welterweight titlists as recognized by the various international organizations.

Boxer
Shane Mosley(46-5,39 KO’s) WBA (World Boxing Association)

Andre Berto (25-0,19 KO’s) WBC (World Boxing Council)

IBF(Int’l Boxing Federation)is at present vacant.

You’ve Got To Know When To Hold ’em And Know When To Fold ’em ………………

 

 

 

You’ve  Got  To Know  When  To  Hold ‘em  And Know  When To  Fold ‘em ……

 

 

 

 

Well  the  distinguished and  illustrious   boxing  career  of Oscar De La Hoya  has come  to an  end.   The  boxer  himself  made the  announcement  at  2pm  yesterday  after  talking it  over with his wife  and   associates  within  his   Golden  Boy Promotions’ Inc  organization.    It  shouldn’t   really   come  as a  complete  surprise  at  this   juncture.  But I   doubt that  this  announcement   will    mean  a  complete   retirement   from the  sport  that  he’s  graced  for  the  better  part  of  sixteen  years. 

 

 

Oscar  De La Hoya  hugs his father  Joel   having  just  made  the  announcement  of  his retirement  from the  sport of boxing.
Oscar De La Hoya hugs his father Joel having just made the announcement that he's retiring from the sport of boxing. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Kevork Djansezian ......................

 

 

 

 

All  too  often   we’ve   seen   De La Hoya   step   away  from  the  ring  for a  prolonged  period of  his  own  determination  and  decision.  Having   either   succumbed  to  defeat  or   an  unprecedented win.  However   in   terms   of  the  latter they’ve  been  and   far between.   In  his last  seven    bouts  prior  to  this   announcement    Oscar   had  lost   four   of   those    fights.   Though  his  victors   weren’t  some   none  descript  fighters  by  any   stretch of the  imagination.   Some  of those  fighters  were   amongst   the  very   best  to have   boxed  in  the   various   weight   categories   over  the  past  decade.  Including  Bernard  Hopkins,  Shane  Mosley  , Manny Pacquaio and  Floyd  Mayweather Jr,   all  of  whom  prevailed   in  defeating  De La  Hoya  and  adding  to  their  fame. 

 

 

De La  Hoya  and  his  wife  singer  Mille Corretjer  after the  announcement of his retirement  from  the  sport.
De La Hoya and his wife ,singer Millie Corretjer outside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. Where the announcement of his retirement was made. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Kevork Djansezian..........

  

 

 

And  though  it  can  be  said  that  Oscar   had  distinguished   himself    by   taking on  allcomers   over   the   course  of   his  career.   It can  be  said   that  many  of  those   bouts  he  fought   in  some  cases  were   against   fighters who’d   past  their    prime.  Nowhere  was  this  more   self    evident  than  when   he   fought   Julio  Cesar Chavez.  Chavez  himself  was   on  the downside of  an   illustrious   career and   if  anything   he  may  well   felt  with   Mexican  pride and  heritage  on the  line.  He  wanted    to  make it  his  task   of  defeating  a young   upstart   like   De  La Hoya.  Oscar   was  never  really  accepted   by   the  Mexican  American   community   in Los Angeles,  as   it was felt  from  the  time  he  was in the  amateur   ranks   he  merely  wanted  to associate  himself  with   those  whom  he   felt   could   further  his  career  the most. 

 

De La  Hoya  at the dais  formally makes the   announcement  of  his  impending  retirement  from the  sport before  the  convened  press at  the  Staples Center   in Los  Angeles California.
De La Hoya standing at the dais formally makes the announcement of his retirement from the sport of boxing. De La Hoya will still be formally involved in the sport but from the business side in the promotional aspect. Promoting his stable of fighters as well being involved in the MMA field. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Kevork Djansezian ...............

 

  

 

In  time  he   would  win   over the   allegiance  of  that  particular   community   with  his  efforts   in  and   outside the  ring.  And  it  has  to  be  said   his  support   within  that   community    has  never  really  waned   once  it  was established.     The  fans  would  come  out in droves to show their  support.   But during   his   rise  to the  upper  echelons  of the  sport  that wasn’t   the  case   at  first. 

 

De La Hoya is   unable  to  defend   himself  in  his  bout against  Manny  Pacquaio ......
De La Hoya seen here is unable to defend himself in his bout against Manny Pacquiao. De La Hoya would lose the bout to the Filipino fighter in a TKO. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Richard Ward ..........

 

 

 

 

During   De La  Hoya’s   heyday   in  the  sport   it can  be  said    that  without  a   doubt  he  was  the  biggest   draw  in  the sport.   As the  unequivocal   circus  act  and   tragedy    of  Mike  Tyson   began  and  then   all   too  suddenly   erupted   in  self   destruction  and   the  unwelcomed attention  of  law   enforcement    amongst  other  things. It   has   to be  said   that  both    fighters  were   the  main   reasons  to  seek  out   a fight   when  it  was  being   televised  be  it   via  PPV  or  on  the  broadcast  networks  during  the  infancy  of their careers.    They  carried  the   sport  to   its   forefront  of   the  early   and  late  nineties.   And   between  them    they   garnered   well  in   excess  of   $1.3bn   in   revenues   for   the  PPV outfits    who  carried their   bouts   as  their    careers. 

 

 

Evander Holyfield   becomes  the  appetizer   for Mike   Tyson  during  their  much  heralded  bout.
Evander Holyfield becomes the appetizer for Mike Tyson during their much heralded bout. Referee Mills Lane tries to intervene. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo / Kevin Reed ...............

 

 

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