Last week a lot was made of Timothy Bradley stating that he wants to take a tune up fight later this year when he plans to return to boxing from a long layoff where he has been taking care of business outside of the ring including commentating some Top Rank cards. The amount of time he will have taken off will be a year and five months if he returns around the time frame he has been mentioning (Sept.). All of the attention was given in response to his comments about who he said he wanted for a tune up fight, Adrien “The Problem” Broner who is a four division champion albeit by way of fighting weak champions in each of those divisions and never unifying any of them. To give credit where credit is due, Broner had a couple of fights he did well in against what may have been thought of as upper level competition at that time. I believe what some fans give him the most credit for in chat rooms, or on podcasts etc. is for the close fight he had against Paulie Malagnaggi who had a WBA welterweight title but clearly was never truly a top 5 welterweight and an extremely overrated fighter himself in my opinion.
I know some will say after he took a beating in his first WBA welterweight defense against former light welterweight champion Marcos Maidana that Broner was just to small for that division. The problem with that argument is he can’t make weight for any division lower than that anymore so that pretty much leaves him fighting in the welterweight division which brings me full circle. Broner in the welterweight division probably doesn’t beat anyone in the top ten or so which includes Pacquiao, Thurman, Brooke, Porter (who already defeated Broner easily), Spence Jr., Garcia, Lamont Peterson, Bradley, Khan, Vargas, Berto, Felix Diaz, and sooner or later Terrance Crawford. Personally I do not think he beats any of them although there are perhaps one or two fights he could be competitive in.
So the point is Bradley calling Broner a tune up is not to be seen as a slap in the face to Broner, it is what I would call a reality check for Broner. A truly needed reality check for someone who fools his fans into believing he wants to fight top guys but then prices himself out just so he can take on the Granados’ of the world and even then barely squeaking out a win. So good for Bradley for speaking the truth but I am pretty certain it’s all for not because I believe Broner just wants to keep his name semi-relevant on Twitter etc. and then move on to fight another C level opponent. That leaves me wondering who Bradley’s next fight will be against. Broner’s history tells me what kind of fighter he will be up against next, the thought of which does not excite me whatsoever. I can’t say I jumped off that train as I for one didn’t get on it to begin with and now in hindsight I am happy I never took the bait.
Steven “The Bad Guy” McCowan
On Saturday April 29th Anthony Joshua went toe to toe with boxings’ most dominant heavyweight of the last decade Wladamir Klitschko. Joshua came out on top in an exciting prize fight that actually lived up to the massive hype that built continually until fight day. This fight was capable of becoming a stinker and possible hug fest but both fighters gave everything they had and more to the enormous 90,000 seat crowd. Fans at Wembley got their money’s worth and they had this guy, (me) jumping up and down, screaming at the television.
The heavyweight division is traditionally beloved by boxing fans, but has had it’s share of failures. There have many multiple champions that are generally unknown, champions that refuse to risk losing, and fighters that choose only to fight if it makes the proper business sense, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of boxing fans.
Then in steps Joshua, 19-0, 19 KO’s, a young guy from the U.K. who looks the part, puts his money where his mouth is, and possibly finished Klitschko’s career who, everyone liked to say they wanted to fight but never did, (excluding Tyson Fury). In a culture where boxing fans are used to hearing how boxers want to challenge themselves but are let down when monetary issues or geographical complications get in the way, Anthony Joshua refused to let us down. It is an exciting time for boxing because Joshua is leading the way out of the dark Mayweather/Pacquiao, GGG/Canelo holdout tunnel and into the light of an era of true challenges. This could be a new dawn of fighters giving everything they have in the ring in order to please themselves, and shake up the boxing world. This much needed boost would be great all around for boxing business and for the health of the sport in general. When a fighter challenges themselves, gives an exciting performance, gets knocked down but pushes to get back up amid fans cheering and jumping out of their seats until the unpredictable end……well, it just does not get any better than that. Joshua/Klitschko put on the kind of show that is exactly what keeps boxing on a level it should be, winning fans over rather than fighters running around the ring buying time when they are a few rounds ahead in order to get a closer than anticipated win leaving fans alternately yawning and booing. (Yeah I’m talking about you Thurman).
Hopefully some of these other fighters were inspired or at least took notes on how to become a true champion (and household name). Hopefully Joshua continues leading on this path, leaving behind Garcia/Salka, Mayweather/Berto or the Pac/Horn style of match up far behind us as we embark on this new day. Time will tell if this moment will become a lasting trend in boxing or remain a tease filling the hearts of boxing fans with hope for renewed faith in our beloved sport.
All Hail the new heavyweight king Anthony Joshua with much respect to both fighters giving all they had to us on Saturday night. It truly was a breath of fresh air.
Steven “the bad guy” McCowan
When To Judge And When To Enjoy
By: Steven McCowan – BillyCBoxing.com
There was a time not long ago where people would gather and watch prize fighters, when everyone had their favorite fighters and wanted to see them pull off a big win. If someones’ pick didn’t win, you would here common sense answers like, “that’s the way it goes”, or “well it just wasn’t his night” and even the very humbling “he just wasn’t as good as we thought he was etc. Just look back to Ali vs. Frazier I, and Tyson vs. Holyfield as a couple of examples.
Nowadays with this newest generation of boxing fans, there comes with them the idea that they are themselves in fact official judges. These self appointed judges watch fights and usually have a Youtube prediction/breakdown video and for the most part don’t have an original idea in their heads, or hardly any background education on the sport. These guys pick a side and just start spewing ideas that everyone else has who either shares that mental capacity or is on their side. Much like the political movement of the “get right or get left” idiots, this mentality basically translates to “stop having original thoughts and join our tribe”.
Though I am not here to talk politics, and am certainly not saying that all real boxing fans of the of the not so distant past or their love, passion, and understanding of the sweet science are gone from the sport. I am simply stating that since the Pac/May holdout days the sport has been flooded with gossip loving, TMZ style, enquiring minds (don’t) really want to know kind of people who, when they pick someone to win an upset and that fighter does better than expected, then it has to be called a robbery. Look back to earlier this year to the March fight between GGG and Jacobs, or the fight between Garcia and Thurman.
Let’s all agree to keep the “robbery” tag reserved for fights like the 1998 Olympics match between Roy Jones Jr. And Si Hun Park in which pure corruption obviously took place. Or even the Evander Holyfield 1984 Olympics fight where there was obviously something fishy going on and he got DQ’d and robbed immediately after dropping his challenger Kevin Barry with a clearly legal punch just before the referee yelled for break. Now then, there are two examples (of many) to use as a starting point to learn what a real robbery in the ring actually is.
On to the second half of my two cents… I believe there are quite a few judges in boxing that are either paid off, blind, or just plain unqualified to judge boxing. Boxing is a sport in which the participants spend a great deal of time preparing themselves for fight night. They are judging athletes who go through a grueling 36 minutes in which most fighters give everything they have to get the job done just to be denied the one thing they worked so hard to achieve and if they deserve it, the winning nod. We must ask the following question. If judges are on the “up and up” have been through education and licensing processes can be wrong while judging a fight, then what kind of credit, logically speaking, do people who call themselves fans of boxing, who I will also say are mostly bandwagon fans who really just want to trash everybody except their guy or the guy their guy tells them is good (yeah I’m talking to you Mayweather fans) do these “fans” deserve?
Give up? I will answer this as clearly and honestly as possible, NONE. Just spend 5 minutes looking up boxing on Youtube and you will find people saying that any fight that wasn’t a total destruction was a robbery and needs a rematch ie. Thurman vs. Garcia, or GGG Vs. Jacobs just for 2 examples this year (but oddly not Chocolatito). If you look further into any of these peoples lives, you will find out they were tweeting or on social media during rounds and yet have the balls to act like they have seen the fight clearer than anyone else. I know when you break it down this way it seems laughable, but what is not laughable is that this new generation of fans with their “get right or get left” mentality leaves absolutely no room for growth. So their true knowledge of the sport will stay the same until they finally find something else to cling to and their “love” for boxing gets left behind for better things to totally dumb down.
What I’m really trying to get at is that I for one don’t need to see a close up of your face from your webcam, your banner up behind you or hear your mouths spewing the already spewed “ideas” or “thoughts” that you have about “so and so” or that “so and so” is a racist because he doesn’t agree with me. Just put down whatever it is you’re trying to judge the fights on, understand there are not a lot of people qualified/educated enough to have such high opinions of themselves as boxing authoritarians, gather a few friends, some alcohol or whatever makes you happy when you watch fights, and enjoy the entertainment. If some kind of truly organized and truly educated people are not at the forefront, then when the next generation comes to check out boxing, they will see this unorganized/uneducated hate scene and say, “screw this, I’m going elsewhere for my entertainment” and then boxing as a whole will suffer.
Linares vs. Garcia Summer Matchup?
By: Steve McCowan – BillyCBoxing.com
Jorge Linares out boxed a clearly over matched fighter in Anthony Crolla in their unnecessary rematch, (since Crolla had a rematch clause in their contract for their first match), which I thought Linares won comfortably. This time there will be no rematch (thankfully) and I am not saying that because Linares and Crolla didn’t put on two entertaining fights, I am saying that because even if those two fought ten times I think it’s clear that Linares would probably win every time.
Now let us fast forward to the here and now….immediately after the fight, Linares called out a tricky, smart, and heavy handed fighter in Mikey Garcia who returned last January for his second fight since his nearly two and a half year layoff to totally destroy another overmatched opponent in Dejan Zlaticanin in a KO of the year style ending in the 3rd round to become a three division champion (Featherweight, Jr. Lightweight, Lightweight). Linares said he is ready and willing to make a fight with Garcia and would like that to happen next. Garcia has said in at least one interview that he would like the fight to happen next also, even saying he would like it to be this summer in late July or early August.
The only thing that seems to be a possible road block to this exciting matchup, (on paper), is that Linares is fighting for Golden Boy Promotions and Garcia fought his last fight on the PBC on showtime. Neither of these companies seem to be eager to put any of their top talents against one another for fear of it causing a black eye on the face of their company if their top guy loses to the other companies’ top guy. Lest we forget the broken relationships and bad blood between key members of Golden Boy Promotions and the PBC/Al Haymon etc.
While Linares/Garcia may be an intriguing matchup idea let’s just sit back and see whether or not these divided companies choose to do business with each other. Maybe or hopefully the money can be a big enough factor to put past differences aside, then they can give fight fans a fight we would truly like to see. So far 2017 has been a good year for boxing fans, let’s hope the trend continues and we get a summer 2017 fight between the lightweight divisions top two fighters.