Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One More Round With Mark Lyons: Floyd Mayweather, Klitschko/Arreola, Jean Pascal, etc...

Mark Lyons is back with his weekly take on the previous weekend's boxing action, as well as a look ahead to what's coming up.

Photo © Justin McKie

Last week we saw an all time great come back from almost a 2 year absence and look as sharp as ever. We also saw a couple of gutsy warriors possibly move towards the end of their careers. This week, we have a Heavyweight title fight that has at least generated some buzz among the hardcore Boxing fans and a talented Canadian (pictured right) who continues to fly under the radar.

My take on this past weekend’s action...

I may as well call this Eat Crow Corner. In a sport when you should expect the unexpected and will be way off base consistently, you have to admit your errors and hopefully learn from them.

Marquez came in too heavy and had no business at welterweight. That was a big spoonful.

But the difference in skills was dramatic, and I'm not sure it would have been much closer if the two fighters had been the same size. I underestimated Floyd Mayweather. I assumed there would be some ring rust, and there wasn’t even a slight hint of it. For my money, that was the best fighter in the world.

As far as what's next for the winner, while Pac/Money could be the richest fight in history, I’m really hoping to see Floyd and Shane go at it before Mosley gets on anymore in years. Sugar Shane has routinely faced the best in the world, in many instances against better judgment and he deserves the shot in the spotlight.

For Marquez, I honestly don’t see what more he has to accomplish. The man is a great fighter, but I think I saw some signs of deterioration in there, although it could be more the weight and the opponent. You can’t be sure, but if he wants to carry on I suppose Katsidis is next. That would be exciting but unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. Whatever he does, he should hold his head up high. He gave it his all against one of the greatest fighters to ever walk the earth.

The under-card didn’t really meet expectations, but they were well made matches so you can’t blame Golden Boy for this one.

Chris John put on a solid performance against what has become a predictable one from Rocky Juarez. It looks like Rocky’s career will be summed up with a lot of near misses. He is one of the good guys in the sport and has talent, but he just can’t seem to put it together against the elite. I don’t think it’s a matter of effort or desire. There is an instinctual side to the sweet science, and it doesn’t come easily to Rocky. To me, it looks like he bogs himself down trying to think too much in big moments.

Michael Katsidis picked up a nice win with a workmanlike decision over Vicente Escobedo. He was the busier guy and the fight wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t a thriller either. I just get the idea that Michael will beat most, but fall short against the absolute best at 135. I have no idea what that one judge was watching scoring the fight for Escobedo by 4 points. That was a terrible score card.

In what is always welcome, Tuesday brought some high caliber fights to the middle of the week and I felt like I was a youngster, drinking beer and watching Tuesday Night Fights on USA.

Jorge Arce is as gutsy a fighter as you will see, but his days near the top appear to be numbered. It’s rare for a slugger to maintain the level he has for so long. The pounds add up and eventually fighters like Arce are at an impasse because their body has grown to a spot where they are no longer strong enough to impose their will.

Simphiwe Nongayi? Yes I had to look up the spelling. Another South African comes out of nowhere. I’ll look forward to seeing him again.

Humberto Soto is one of the most entertaining fighters in the world. That guy just brings heat early and often. The opponent wasn’t a world beater, but those two rounds were wild and explosive.

I really think Soto/Valero has the potential to be a mini Hagler/Hearns. There is no doubt that they will trade bombs immediately in the opening round and I could see them both on the deck multiple times. Make it happen Bob – even if you have to stage it outside of the United States (which given Valero’s situation might be necessary). You have a possible FOTY type trilogy staring you in the face.

Looking ahead to this week’s action...

It’s good to see some word of mouth buzz about a Heavyweight fight.

Yes, sadly that is exactly how far the division has sunk. I don’t doubt that Arreola will bring a big effort. But the fact that effort is enough to get folks semi-excited for a Heavyweight fight is another example what heavyweight boxing has become.

I just don’t think Arreola has the talent, conditioning or experience to do much more than try his best on the way to an ugly beating. Vitali has every edge in the fight and I have to take the guy with the physical advantages who I know is in condition to go all night. I expect a steady diet of jabs and right hands until Arreola has to retire in the corner or have the ref step in after 6 or 7 one sided rounds. The division is in need of new blood and maybe Cristobal will supply that one day, but it won’t be this weekend.

Jean Pascal has given us two of the best fights in recent years and yet his fights aren’t being televised by premium networks (thankfully this one is available online at GoFightLive.tv).

Pascal doesn’t do boring. This kid is talented and even shuns some of his gifts to get into a war. He’s a television friendly fighter if I ever saw one. Silvio Branco is up there in age, so I wouldn’t expect this to make it on to HBO BAD, but it would be good for a Shobox.

A fight I’ve been thinking about...

In light of discussing Shane Mosley, I figured I’d put Shane in with John Mugabi at 154.

You think some bombs would get tossed here? The Beast is bigger and a murderous puncher, Shane is faster and has a decided edge in chin and stamina. Mugabi is a rare example of a guy getting ruined in one fight. Hagler stole his prime as John took some real heavy stuff that night.

How does this one play out? I think Mugabi is able to last the distance. But after taking some inhuman bombs, Shane grinds him down and wins a UD, 7-5 or 8-4. Maybe a late KD for Mosley.

And by the way, all of the stuff about it being out of line for Shane to talk at Floyd during Kellerman’s interview? I loved it. Promoting future fights is good for the sport.

One last comment...

I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to the greatest Middle Linebacker of all time, Mr. Ray Lewis and the soon to be Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens!

e-mail Mark Lyons


Anonymous said...

Jean Pascal looks like a mini Mike Tyson

mpar1 said...

If people could have removed their Floyd-hatred blinders, they would have seen how many time Marquez got hit by Juan Diaz early in their bout. That was all I needed to see to know this would be a rout. Let's just say Floyd is slightly more skilled than Juan. For instance, Juan considers a punch to his face to be a defensive maneuver. Floyd actually has reflexes and attempts to avoid punches. But, I am an idiot Money Mayweather Nut Hugger according to some web writers.

I hope we've seen the last of Juarez in high-profile TV slots. I don't know who the guy has pictures of but they must be juicy.

And your Arreola-Klitschko take is right on, I think. Chris will hopefully try to pressure the big man but I am afraid it will be another Vitali jabfest.

Mark Lyons said...

I don't know if I can talk to you after Saturday afternoon. That loss has yet to stop stinging