Boxing has more than seen its share of fighters that step into the ring equipped with blistering hand speed from Mike Tyson, Aaron Davis, and Ali to Gary Russel Jr and and Roy Jones to name a few. Although I could most definitely add on to this list today my attentions are moreso focused on two speedsters in particular who were huge stars in their era and overwhelmed a slew of opponents with some of the fastest hands the sport has ever seen. Today fans I give you the fantasy boxing match-up between Meldrick Taylor and the Pac-Man Manny Pacquiao as well as my analysis on what would have been the outcome of their match had they met at welterweight.
Ask anyone who Manny Pacquiao is and odds are you’ll receive a variety of different responses, some would likely be happy to tell you about him, his many championships, his charitable donations, and his multi-divisional accomplishments and championships as a fighter and on the other hand you have those fans that would look insulted that you have no clue as to who the Pac- Man is. But if I could use one word to describe him it would be…. FAST… this is one word that no one would ever be able to deny about Pacquiao especially given the many demonstrations he has provided us with in the ring. Ever since Pacquiao joined forces with illustrious trainer Freddie Roach he has seen no end to improvement and a variety of victories over great Latin American legends such as Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, and Miguel Cotto has shown the Filipino to indeed be a force to reckoned with. As Floyd Mayweather put it in his victory over his nemesis, victory was not easy and Pacquiao was indeed a solid test.
On the other end we have Meldrick Taylor who in the 80’s and 90’s was a fast rising star well on his way to super-stardom and was being groomed by Lou Duva to fill the shoes of the departing Sugar Ray Leonard and those who watched this young contender in action were afterward very pressed to say the same. Taylor had few detractors and as he rapidly progressed he began to add to his list of victims a few noteworthy names such as Aron Davis for example. Yet on March 17, 1990 his star fell short at the hands of Mexican legend Julio Cesar Chavez and his career took a nosedive that never recovered from that point forward. Sad to say that unlike Pacquiao, Taylor never experienced his full potential and in later years would his name fade into a sort of obscurity as like with Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier his name would and to this day is synonymous with the man who bested him, Julio Cesar Chavez. Although he is one of my personal favorites its sad to say that today not very many people of today’s generation know who Taylor is outside of his encounter with Chavez. But how would a match with Pacman have panned out, would Taylor have defeated him or fallen short of victory as a contest of speed began to unfold?
No doubt as with other contests the opening rounds would be a feeling out process with both southpaw and right handed fighter attempting to establish lead foot dominance and the jab to set the pace for the rest of the fight. Both Taylor and Pacquiao would no doubt circle while firing a series of fast jabs that would continue until one got the other’s rhythm or an adjustment was made by their corners. I believe as though Taylor’s boxing skill and sense timing would confuse and frustrate Manny Pacquiao in the early stages of the bout perhaps rounds 1-3 as the fight nears to the middle rounds. Despite his early advantage one must not forget that both Taylor and Pacquiao have both during their fights developed the bad habit of being reckless and having a vulnerability to body punches so the fight enters into 4-7 either cut would develop on either man as has happened in the past or one would start to slow as a result of being hit repetitively with body blows and this would be the deciding factor of the fight. Rounds 8-12 would without a doubt be the bloodiest and most brutal of the match as the fighter that slows will no doubt continue taking a beating until either the match is stopped or goes to a decision. To be honest I leave the outcome to that of the fans as this would be a match-up too difficult for me to decide. As I’ve stated before both men share similar strengths and weaknesses and I believe that the victor would be decided on who would keep their composure the longest. Seeing as how both men loved to engage in fire fights this is one fight that could very well be unpredictable in nature….but then again hasn’t that always been the nature of boxing. Be sure to comment and tell me what you think fellow fans
Claressa Shields has since her debut into the boxing world has widely been touted as quite possibly the best female fighter in in the women’s division despite her having only a few fights under her belt and the fact that she has been given a title shot so early into her professional career seems to only be proof that she has a great deal of backing from both promoters and fans alike. Tonight Claressa will meet Nikki Adler to determine who is the best in the women’s division and who has earned the right to hold the WBC and IBF super middleweight championship belts and although she is widely expected to win she has nonetheless taken her training seriously as she has prepared for what is shaping up to be the most important fight of her young career. In her way is Nikki Adler who is the current undefeated champion and kingpin of the middleweight division.
While Adler may not have the blistering hand and foot speed we’ve seen of Claressa she is nonetheless undefeated for a reason and as such is not someone that should be taken lightly regardless of the quality of her competition. That said what are the Claressa’s keys to victory and what should she do in order to secure the title belts coming home with her?
- Use speed: There is an old saying in boxing that speed kills and seeing as how she has a ton of it Claressa should make the most of hers to keep Adler off balance and confused.
- Utilize power punches: Shields most recently in a sparring video with Cris Cyborg was shown throwing punches with devastating force and also seems to be much stronger than Adler in that regard, as a result she would be well served to use that power to deal the champion hard blows.
- Utilize Boxing skill: The fact that she holds two golds medals should be proof enough that Shields has the talent to compete at the upper echelons of the boxing world and it is tool that she has used with great skill to win her past couple of fights and is something that is bound to give Adler fits if used properly tonight.
- Movement: While Adler has seemed to be flatfooted in her past fight Claressa by comparison moves fast on her feet and in coordination with her hands could pose serious problems for the champ, the use of movement should definitely allow Claressa to create various angles of attack in which to land shots throughout the night.
I believe that it is with these keys Claressa should be able to take home the victory and the title belts tonight, until then I wish the best to both fighter and wait with the rest of the fans in anticipation of fight night.
When both Guillermo Rigondeaux and Lomachenko stepped on to the boxing scene in both 2009 and 2013 respectively the boxing world took note and the praises that these two fighters have received have yet to be proven wrong by any detractors as both Lomachenko and Rigondeaux have both gone on to establish themselves as dominant champions in both the lightweight and bantamweight divisions. But as has always been the case in competitive sports the law of the jungle is that there can never be two kings reigning over one throne, either one concedes or is defeated and takes his places among the unknown and irrelevant or he prevails and as victor establishes himself as the dominant figure. This is a theme that sets the tone for something that is not new to any boxing fan as when two great fighter emerge it is not long before comparisons are drawn, words are exchanged, and the fans do as they have always done in the past…. they demand blood. Just as the fans took sides with Sugar Ray Robinson vs Jake Lamotta, Leonard vs Hagler, Chavez vs Taylor, Toney vs Jones, and Mayweather vs Pacquiao I anticipate that they will do much of the same with this fight and now that Guillermo Rigondeaux has take many a verbal step to draw Lomachenko into a fight it appears that this is a contest that may happen sooner rather than later for the fans.
For the most part the exchange has taken place more on twitter than anywhere else however the slightest move from either man seems to stir the fans into pressuring both fighters into meeting in the ring now. This is a fight that could be very good for boxing because both of these fighters have the slick and skillful styles that truly encompass what it means to call boxing the art of the “sweet science”. One thing is for sure is that while fans generally consider Lomachenko the more entertaining of the two with Rigondeaux being thought of as a less crowd pleasing fighter it goes without saying that in the lighter divisions he is considered to be on of the few fighters capable of holding his own or even defeating Lomachenko for that matter. While this fight has not generally created the same amount of buzz that we saw from the Mayweather Pacquiao fight it is certainly something that has boxing purists and hardcore fans licking their chops in anticipation. But fellow fans as we all know anything can happen in this sport that is itself something both simultaneously beautiful and brutal so until the bell rings we will do as we have always done in the past in anticipation of the great fights we will weather the calm before the storm, pick sides, and wait.
On May 6th, millions of boxing fans around the world to watch the showdown that was to determine who was to carry the crown left behind by Oscar De La Hoya and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. as the next great Mexican boxing star, unfortunately those expectations were shattered and left many fans outraged some of whom either spent their hard earned dollars to buy the PPV or showed up to the fight to watch it in person. In the opening round all the way to the 12th round it became apparent that Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. the son of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. was going to do little in the way of throwing punches and throughout the fight he way steadily dominated by Saul Canelo Alvarez who looked to be his superior in terms of speed, power, agility and strength. Needless to say the outcome of the fight does not do much to help the case of Chavez who was already suffering from criticism over the course of his career and even now raises more questions than answers. The most prominent question on most people’s minds is what is next for the fighter that was at one time considered to be heir apparent to P4P throne in boxing. Given this most recent loss which was a fight that neither fighter could afford to lose one has to wonder whether or not we’ll ever see Chavez fight at the elite level of boxing ever again considering the beating that he was most recently handed. While his rival Canelo Alvarez has secured a fight with the dangerous GGG it appears that Chavez may fall further into anonymity despite his attempt at recognition or his father’s legacy to back him up. What are your thoughts fans should Chavez retire or continue on in the ring.
For every man there inevitably comes a time when he must step into his own and either become what he is destined to be or fall short of that destiny never to achieve those great things that were expected of him. And for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr that moment has now and once again become a reality as on May 6th Chavez will face what is perhaps the biggest test of a career that has seen it’s ups and down and has been marked at best by controversy concerning the level of opponents he’s fought and as to whether or not he could live up to the legacy established by his father something that has constantly been a recurring subject throughout his career. For many including myself, when Chavez Jr first came onto the scene in 2003 he was seen as the next future legend in a succession that went from greats like Salvador Sanchez, Chavez Sr., Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, and more. As time progressed it became painfully apparent that Chavez was suffering from a lack of discipline which was something that served to slow his ability to achieve his full potential and with a steady stream of what most people considered to be weak opposition it wasn’t long before fans came to view Chavez as little more than unfulfilled hype.
Yet at times there were moments wherein Chavez displayed to people that he could in fact live up to his father’s legacy and even establish for himself a name that could be respected by all such as when down on the scorecards against Sergio Martinez he came back to nearly stop the dominant middleweight champion in what was a fight that mirrored the Chavez Sr vs Taylor fight over a decade earlier and his impressive performances against Andy Lee and Marco Antonio Rubio. These victories though seemed to take a backseat to the TKO loss he suffered to Andrzej Fonfara and the controversial first fight he had with Brian Vera in which many felt as though he had lost. Here and now Chavez is once again given an opportunity to show the fans that despite the losses, criticisms, and setbacks he’s encountered he can still pull through to achieve his full potential. And yet as has been the case with his past fights, it has never been a matter of whether the fans believe in him but a matter of whether he can deliver.
In Alvarez, Chavez faces an opponent that has developed rapidly over the years and has gone from facing mid level fighters to koing and defeating elite level fighters. Alvarez is a well rounded boxer capable of attacking from many different angles at once only made more complicated by the fact that his defense has become more solid and refined over the years and he has discipline that is the exact opposite of what we’ve seen from Chavez over the years. Despite the advantages that Alvarez has it important to note that Chavez himself has some advantages of his own such as his ability to come back from seemingly hopeless rounds to stop his opponents and his ability to adjust to opponents over the course of the fight. One thing that is for sure is the fact that when the two men step into the ring on the 6th it will be Chavez who will be the bigger of the two fighters, and advantage he’d be well suited and advised to use. And while Alvarez himself has a most impressive knockout record, Chavez has displayed tremendous knockout power that could no doubt hurt Alvarez should he land cleanly. Be sure to tune in on the 6th to witness these two great fighters go head to head to determine who is the best among them.
On May 6th Canelo and Chavez will meet in Las Vegas to engage each other in what is expected to be one of the greatest fights both of this year and this generation. But the stakes in this bout are much higher than the average prizefight and when Canelo and Chavez meet each other in the ring also at stake will be the pride and adoration of the countless Mexican fans that have filled arenas stood by generation after generation of legends such as Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Julio Cesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez and more. Aside form the fans and their heritage however, Chavez and Alvarez couldn’t be more different from each other if they tried and in the recent 24/7 episodes offered by HBO it has become clear that even though these two fighters may have some respect for each other, they clearly do not like each other. Both men are from completely different backgrounds and with Chavez coming from privilege being the son of famed Julio Cesar Chavez Sr and also having the advantage of Jose Suleiman his godfather and president of the WBC on his side it wasn’t hard for him to already have a foot in the door when it came to stepping into boxing with an already established fan base and assured title shot in the future. Alvarez on the other hand had no such advantages and had to take the hard route, working his way up into the ranks of the boxing elite first defeating little known challengers before taking difficult opponents such as Mayweather, Cotto, Trout, Khan, and Lara.
On May 6th if nothing else serves as motivation or these two fighters it is the fact that they both have a great deal to prove to boxing fans globally and that this is a fight that neither can afford to lose. Chavez has constantly been accused by boxing critics of using his father’s legacy to keep himself a relevant and assured contender by using his father’s legacy while fighting less than worthy opponents while Canelo has likewise been accused in the past of fighting less than worthy opponents while coming into fights seemingly heavier than normal which assured him a weight advantage over smaller opponents. One thing is for sure and it is the fact that this is not a fight that either men can afford to lose as not only are their reputations at stake but also the future of their boxing careers. Since Mayweather officially retired from the sport the race has been on to determine who will fill his shoes as the next PPV star of boxing and this is the fight that could full well give us that star. With only one day to go before we have that answer fans can only wait with anticipation as these fighters make the final preparations necessary to give us the answer.