Rusty Rubin is an award winning boxing writer, covering the sweet science for more than 35 years. He is a dear friend, an expert in boxing and has contributed to www.dmboxing.com since 2007.
Let’s take another walk down my memory lane.
Some years back my wife and I were invited to attend a fight card in New Orleans. Our host was former heavyweight, now trainer Beau Williford. Although I’ve never been big on humidity, when it comes to the Big Easy and Cajun cooking, you don’t have to ask me twice.
During this trip Lois and I met and became friends with the late Angelo Dundee (whom I already knew), Deidre Gogarty, Billy Major and Suzanne Riccio Major to name a few.
Boxing is not a sport to me, it is passion, and what happened on June 9 hurts, the result of Timothy Bradley winning a 12 round split decision over Manny Pacquiao last Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada. I have seen many terrible decisions in my fifty years following the sweet science; the few that instantly surface to the top are: Louis – Walcott I (1947) , Ellis – Patterson (1968) , Zarate – Pintor (1979) , Holmes – Spinks I (1985) , Lewis – Holyfield I (1999) , and Williams – Lara (2011). Now this one ranks right up there with these I mention.
I am still trying to digest this horrible decision. It is clear to the boxing fans that viewed the fight that Manny won and it wasn’t even that close. Even the occasional boxing fan who saw the fight would agree that Manny clearly was the winner. He outclassed Bradley in every way imaginable. He landed more punches. He landed more power shots. He dictated the pace and tempo. My good friend Harold Lederman at HBO sitting live ringside scored the fight 119-109 (11 rounds to 1) in favor of Manny, and for the record my scorecard was 117-111 (9 rounds to 3) for Manny.
Something is wrong, and very wrong with this kind of scoring in boxing. I had a friend call me the next day excited that he won a bet by picking Bradley. My only comment to him was, “You didn’t win anything, you stole that money like a robber; so do the proper thing by donating your winnings to cancer research or to your local church and your mind will be at peace.”
Manny did not deserve this, to lose his WBO welterweight belt in this manner. The biggest losers here were certainly the fans. Yes it stinks and this is why I have always maintained that the sole element that continues to haunt boxing like an evil curse is a blatant BAD decision right before your very eyes!
TOP RANK MAKES FORMAL REQUEST
TO NEVADA ATTORNEY GENERAL
FOR FULL INQUIRY INTO PACQUIAO vs. BRADLEY
LAS VEGAS, NEV. (June 11, 2012) – Bob Arum, Chairman and CEO of Top Rank, said today that he has submitted a formal request to the Nevada Attorney General’s office for a full and complete inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the scoring of Saturday’s WBO welterweight championship fight between defending champion Manny Pacquiao and challenger Timothy Bradley. The Pacquiao-Bradley welterweight title fight took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“The public has a right to know. The fighters have a right to know,” said Arum. “The only way to restore fans’ confidence in boxing is by letting an independent body investigate every detail of the fight no matter how big or small. Sunshine never hurt anyone.”
Bradley, the undefeated WBO junior welterweight champion, won a controversial split decision, dethroning Pacquiao on scores or 115-113, 115-113 and 113-115, in a fight most ringside media and fans thought Pacquiao won by a wide margin.
( Member Boxing Writers Association )
Pacman loses on the Scorecard what he won in the Ring
7-5, 9-3,-11-1, 8-4, 11-1 These were the samples of the scores by ringside observers in favor of Manny Pacquiao who won his fight in the ring and lost it on the judges’ card. And that 100 million dollar pay day with Mayweather is now put on hold until Pacquiao wins the rematch and Mayweather gets out of jail. Or we may have seen potentially one of the great fights gone. For the past four years, we have seen the dance between Mayweather and Pacquiao and now the biggest pay day in boxing may never come thanks to the boxing hierarchy and promoters who put their own interest ahead of the sport.
As for the fight itself, Bradley was the aggressor throughout most of the fight but it was ineffectual aggression as Bradley rarely hurt Pacquiao but the Pacman managed to hurt Bradley a few times. At the end of the third round, Bradley got stunned by a wicked right hook. At the end of the fourth round, Bradley almost went down from solid shots a couple of times. At the end of the fifth round, Bradley was again in trouble. At the end of the sixth round, Pacquiao lands six to seven unanswered punches with Bradley on the rope.
Bradley did better in the last three rounds but this was fight that should have been declared over on the scorecard long before that but Bradley got his break. He was left standing and because of that, he found a way to win on the judges’ scorecard. Bradley is a good fighter but he is not quite in Pacquiao’s league and tonight there was little to suggest that he deserve a victory. And you will be hard press to find anyone who believed otherwise. Continue reading
Can Tim Bradley defeat Manny Pacquaio? Bradley is a rough and tough fighter who can turn this fight into a brawl. There are two things that his record shows, an undefeated record against quality fighters but a fighter who is most likely going the distance against quality fighters.
He defeated Devon Alexander in a rough fight that saw an accidental head butt prematurely ending the fight. Bradley imposed his will on a slick boxer and he won a decision against a knock out power puncher in Luis Abregu. The only knockout victory over the past five years was against an aging Joel Casamayor for the WBO light welterweight title in his last fight.
Against Manny Pacquaio, he will be facing a fighter with fast hands and knockout power and the PACMAN is one of the greatest pound for pound fighter of his generation. There is one factor in Bradley’s favor rarely discussed and that is the age factor. Bradley is coming into his prime at 28 and Pacquaio is now 33, so we can assume that Pacquaio is traveling on the down side of his career. No one can out run father’s time and we don’t know when a fighter looks old in the ring, in particular a fighter who has his share of tough fights against quality opponent like Pacquaio. Continue reading
Since there’s a bit of a lull in major events right now, I heave decided to use most of this space to answering many questions that I get over the course of a year.
The most frequent question asked of me is; ‘is Ring Sports Magazine or the website up for sale’? The simple answer is yes, if the buyer can prove to me that he can maintain the quality we had over the years. It’s not the money here, but the hard-earned reputation. If agreement on a sale is reached, I will return whatever original investments there were, and donate the remainder to the Susan Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.
‘If my best friend “Woozel” died of colon cancer, why am I working on helping those with breast cancer’? The answer to that one is simple; I believe that once a gene is found to cure breast cancer, we are that much closer to the cure of many other cancers. Cancer is an ugly disease and it’s long past time that it is wiped off the face of the Earth. Even if we can save just one life, we are doing a very important thing as well as sending an important message.
‘Are back issues of the magazine available and if so, for how much money’? Most back issues are and the cost is $1.00 per issue plus postage. I’ve tried to keep them as it’s still my memory and my gift to the sport of boxing. If you want a specific issue, we’ll try to find it for you for an extra 50 cents for the labor. We many even have pictures of your favorite fighter….We can check that out for you and charge accordingly…Again, in any event ALL proceeds after the labor of finding and mailing, will go to the Omen Foundation.
A lot of people want to know ‘how I see the Pacquiao – Mayweather fight’. Simply put, although it’s a mega fight, it probably will never happen. Mayweather doesn’t seem to want to step up to the plate, and if he ever does, he probably will be a lot older and slower than he is today.
( Member of Boxing Writers Assc.)
Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez finished their trilogy Saturday night or have they? A few observations on the fight begin with the Oscar De La Hoya syndrome. In 2004, De La Hoya was beginning his promotion for his bout with Bernard Hopkins and the promotional team thought of a having a double header with Hopkins defending his title while De La Hoya would attempt to wrestle German fighter Felix Sturm title away. Hopkins won his bout but De La Hoya found the German Middleweight a little more than he could handle. While De La Hoya took the early rounds, Strum dominated the second half of the fight and most observers had him winning the fight seven rounds to five but he lost by that score. While De La Hoya threw nearly double the punches, Sturm was more accurate, connected on more punches and his punches started to shake De La Hoya. Many of the judges gave the close rounds to De La Hoya and there were many who wonder how much the prospective Hopkins-De La Hoya fight was a factor in the scoring. Many Marquez fans will be wondering; did the prospect of a Mayweather-Pacquiao color the judges’ decision in a fight with many close rounds?
There is the Ken Norton Syndrome that affected Team Marquez. In his third fight with Ali, Norton gave the last round away as he thought he had the fight in the hand. In addition, he gave away another round in the middle of the fight. He lost a decision that he should have won by simply giving away the last round in a fight that was much closer than Norton thought. Team Marquez told their guy that he had the fight in the bag, so Marquez simply took the foot of the gas pedal and lost the last round, a round that could have cost him the fight. Marquez should have known better and so should have his corner. Team Marquez had as much to do with their fighter losing as any one. Continue reading
Two important fights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this weekend and on paper they look like easy fights to pick. But boxing matches are not fought on paper; they are fought in the ring.
In the semi-main, for the WBO Jr. Welterweight title, Tim Bradley, 27-0 (11) takes on always tough Cuban veteran Joel Casamayor.
At 28, Bradley is 12 years the junior, and sports a record of 27-0, with 11 coming by way of knockout.
Casamayor, is 38-5-1 with 22 knockouts, but the biggest factor in this fight may just be that he is a southpaw.
That means veteran referee Vic Drakulich must be on the alert for head butts, but he has proven quite able to do that.
Bradley by decision.
The main event pits Manny Pacquiao, 32, considered by most to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today, against ring savvy veteran Juan Manuel Marquez, 38.
Pacquiao, 53-3-2 (38), a non-stop southpaw should have the edge in the earlier rounds, as Marquez, 53-5-1 (39), has traditionally been a very slow starter.
In their previous two match-ups, and both have been close, Pacquiao had to work hard just to earn a draw and a split decision. This is not as easy a fight as some may think.
( Member of Boxing Writers Assc. & International Boxing Research Org. )
This fight was a measure of how great Floyd Mayweather still was and Victor Ortiz’s job was to test the mantle of Mayweather’s invincibility. The buzz from many pundits that Ortiz had a chance and much was questioned about Mayweather’s age and 16 months vacation from the ring. The universal consensus was that Mayweather would win but Ortiz may have been his toughest competitor in a while. CNNSI.com Chris Mannix summed up conventional wisdom, “Now, the fight: I’m picking Mayweather, by unanimous decision. Ortiz is good. When you factor in his age (24) and size, he is probably the best opponent Mayweather has faced since Oscar De La Hoya. But — and this is a big but — Floyd is just in a different class. Yes, he’s older and you can’t point to many welterweights who are still in their primes when they hit 34. But his conditioning, his otherworldly skill level and the lack of wear and tear on his body make him unique…Ortiz’s only shot is to knock him out. That won’t be easy; just hitting Mayweather hasn’t been easy. But if Ortiz can work the body early, can make it an even fight over the first four rounds and make Mayweather think he needs a knockout, he has a chance.”
Mayweather started the fight with a jab and he dodged Ortiz punches before landing a couple of body shots followed by flurry of quick hands before Ortiz backed him back. Thus the main event of the $60 PPV began. Mayweather’s quickness showed up immediately but Ortiz managed in the second round to land a solid right hook along with body shots before Mayweather countered with a right. In what was another good round, Ortiz did not back down and may have even taken the round.
This was Ortiz high water mark as Mayweather backed Ortiz in the third round with his quick hands. Ortiz was less effective when forced to back up and Mayweather skills started to show up. Within the opening seconds of the fourth round, Mayweather landed thundering combinations and Ortiz looked befuddle like” what do I do now?” Ortiz went back to his battering style and even landed a couple of punches while Mayweather smugly signaled, “I am not hurt, I am not hurt.” Continue reading
Manny Pacquiao faced the wily veteran Shane Mosley, who was hoping to find the fountain of youth for one more fight, one more shot at glory. Before the main event, there were three important bouts with future implications.
Undefeated Mike Alvarado faced Ray Nath and over the first three rounds, Alvarado simply dominated the fight as he started to connect on solid rights without much response. After three rounds of being beaten, Ray Nath simply did not come out for the fourth round and Alvarado won his 30th straight.
Kelly Pavlik in his comeback fight as a Super Middleweight faced a tough competitor in the undefeated Alfonso Lopez. The first two rounds saw a rusty Pavlik as Lopez managed to outbox the former Middleweight champion but in the third round, Pavlik looked sharper with his punches and even landed a solid right that shook Lopez.
In the fourth round, Lopez got inside of Pavlik to score effectively but in the process, an accidental head butt opened up a cut over Pavlik right eyes. Pavlik managed to connect with some rights in close quarters that may have allowed him to win the round. Lopez began the fifth round by attacking but by the middle of the round, Pavlik power started to back Lopez up. Lopez was breathing heavily at the end of round as Pavlik landed the best punch of the round with a left hook in the middle of the round.
Pavlik dominated the sixth with solid body shots, making Lopez wince but the seventh round was a close affair as both men scored with solid shots; Lopez with a solid combination whereas Pavlik scored with solid left hook near the end of the round for his best shots. The eighth round repeated the sixth round as Pavlik landed hard shots after shots as Lopez looked like he was fading.
There are moments that a fighter must make a stand or accept defeat; Lopez decided to go toe to toe with Pavlik in order to make something happen. Lopez saw the fight slipping away and both fighters gave as they took as punches flew from both fighters. The tenth round was no difference as Lopez began with combinations but Pavlik buckled Lopez with a solid left hook but Lopez found a way to respond with combination. Pavlik countered back with a right hand that stunned Lopez but it did not deter Lopez as both fighters went at each other with last charge.
Pavlik won a majority decision with two of the judges gave him 98-92 and 99-91 scores with another judge scoring the fight even. Pavlik made his comeback against a worthy opponent as he won a tough grinding decision. This gives the Super Middleweight yet another star in one of boxing most talented division!