Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One More Round With Mark Lyons: Dawson, Haye & Pacquiao/Cotto

Mark Lyons is back with his take on some recent and upcoming fights.

Photo © Ray Kasprowicz

Another dominant, yet criticized performance from Chad Dawson (pictured right) and a farce of a PPV card on Friday night. There is a new alphabet title holder at Heavyweight and everyone is ready for the big one this weekend.

My Take on Last Weekend's Fights...

-- Chad Dawson may well be the best boxer in the world. While he remains unknown to the casual fan, he is becoming quite a polarizing figure in hard core boxing circles. He doesn’t hold and he doesn’t run, but most fans are always expecting and wanting more from him. Knocking out Glen Johnson is something that shouldn’t be expected of any fighter but that doesn’t stop people from complaining that he didn’t.

-- Dawson boxed beautifully from the outset, controlled the distance and peppered the Road Warrior with crisp jabs and body shots. Never once was he in any danger and I saw a resounding victory against a man that many thought beat him in their first fight. Color me impressed by not just his incredible skils, but his ability to adapt.

-- David Haye got the job done against the giant. But his bark was way louder than his bite in what was truly a dreadful fight. Hearing that he hurt his hand early makes his tactics more understandable, but it doesn’t give me back that thirty six minutes. With Ruiz on deck, Haye is in danger of another stinker and getting a reputation for engaging in boring fights. That wouldn’t really be fair after his thrilling Cruiserweight run, but like life, boxing is never really fair. Here is hoping he smashes Ruiz in style. But that is far easier said than done.

-- Yes, I watched the Judah/Casamayor card. The most entertaining moment was a ten minute interview with Erik Estrada by the way out of his element Michael Marley. Needless to say I didn’t agree with Marley about Judah’s low blow knockout being electrifying.

Looking Ahead To This Weekend...

-- Fight fans are buzzing for this Saturday night as Manny Pacquiao takes on Miguel Cotto at what I feel is a ridiculous catch weight. If the belt's on the line, the champ shouldn't have to weigh in 2 pounds under the division limit. That being said, it’s two of the best P4P fighters in the world and that is reason for excitement.

-- Cotto is a warrior and really is everything good about the sport. He seems to be stuck in a bizarre style transition where he isn’t sure if he is a boxer or a slugger. His only chance in this fight is to bore inside with almost reckless abandon and try to rough Manny up in close. I’m reading people talk about Miguel’s jab being a key and I don’t see him having any success with that punch. He needs to use it, but just as a means to get inside and not as a weapon. Body work is his key to victory.

-- Pacquiao, just has to be Pacquiao. Using his blazing speed of hand and foot to get there first and take advantage of Cotto’s shoddy footwork. Cotto is not capable of moving and punching at the same time, which is absolute hell against a guy like pacquiao who can change his angles in the blink of an eye. The only real question for me is how Manny will respond to a Welterweights punch, he hasn’t been hit by anybody since he left Jr. lightweight.

-- I see Pacquiao beating Cotto to the punch with his straight left hand from the opening bell. Cotto will score some here and there during some exciting exchanges but pacquaio will dominate this fight on the cards and bust up Miguel’s face en route to a mid to late round stoppage. I hope I’m wrong and the fight meets the world’s expectations. But I’m expecting another clinic from Mr. Pacquaio.

A Fight I’ve been Thinking About...

In lieu of Kelly Pavlik’s apparent desire to never stare across the ring at Paul Williams, lets look at a Middleweight that would relish the opportunity.The highly underrated and extremely rugged Mustapha Hamsho. While Paul has dealt with the pressure of a Margarito, Hamsho’s was of a different variety. His head was in your chest and he could smother Williams on the inside while Paul would enjoy a decided advantage at midrange and outside. In an exciting and bruising affair it will really come down to the judges preference. I’ll take two of three judges to reward Williams more aesthetically pleasing work and he gets a hard earned split nod in a fight that could go either way. One thing is for sure, it will go the distance and they both will almost certainly spill blood.

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