Posts Tagged With: Peter Quillin

I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing

I’ll never be so happy to be so wrong in my all life.  This joke of a fight turned out to be harmless for Canelo’s career.  In fact, it should provide a good boost for his popularity, given that his opponent had a functional 10 to 15 pound weight advantage.  One bit of trivia I was unaware of until after the fight was the fact that the Alvarez-Chavez showdown actually has been in the works for years.  At least six years, from the looks of it.

That means two things.  First, it means there was a reason for the fight to happen.  They had been planning to fight each other since a time when Alvarez wasn’t the undisputed king of the junior welters, and when Chavez was lighter.  Had this fight taken place 6 years ago, it all would’ve made a lot more sense!  And I think the result would’ve been the same.  Second, it means that the thought process behind choosing Canelo’s opponents might not be so flawed.  Alvarez so thoroughly dominated the fight that when it came time for the announcement of the score cards,  and he treated it like the Coming Attractions screen at the movies, it didn’t even seem that unnatural.

He transitioned abruptly to a very staged delivery of his announcement of his next opponent.  For once, it’s both a fight that makes sense and the fight that everyone wants.  I’m not even sure that Golovkin is such a bad opponent for Alvarez anymore.  Clearly, stronger and rangier fighters don’t bother him much, and Golovkin’s willingness to square-up and trade could work to Canelo’s advantage.  This will mean good things for boxing and the middleweight division in particular.  There are so many good fights to be seen with Alvarez at 160, even if he can’t handle Golovkin.  I’d most like to see him tested against Lemieux, Quillin, or Jacobs, but for now, triple G will do just fine.

For his part, Chavez Jr. should stay away from everyone at middleweight and above.  He’s always looked undisciplined and untalented, but this past Saturday he looked absolutely helpless.  Could be the effects of cutting weight explain his performance, but he looked unfocused and unmotivated from the first round, so it doesn’t seem like fatigue could explain his behavior.  It wasn’t because of immobility or injury, and it wasn’t out of fear of his opponent’s power, he just seemed beaten before the bell ever rang.  He’s more irrelevant now than ever and it doesn’t really matter why he fought the way he did.

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And then He Sang

This past weekend Tyson Fury dethroned an aging Wladimir Klitschko in a one-sided decision win.  Klitschko was number two in history for his title reign right behind Joe Louis, but he threw fewer than ten punches per round for most of the fight.  Klitschko hadn’t lost a fight in eleven years, but he looked like he didn’t remember the part of boxing where you keep your hands by your chin.  Klitschko was in impeccable condition, as he has been for all of the major matches in his 68-fight career, but he looked rattled when a lazy, looping hook from Fury grazed him occasionally.

Fury somehow managed to look almost impressive, with undeniably quick movement for such a huge frame.  He came in almost thirty pounds lighter than just three fights earlier, against Joey Abell.  It must have helped, because he seemed more ready to go the distance that I’d ever seen.  His punches weren’t voluminous, powerful, or accurate, but they were often well-timed.  He caught his opponent unprotected once when Klitschko spun around and expected the referee to stop the action.  After the fight, Fury, shockingly, was polite and almost humble.  His words in the post-fight interview were uncharacteristically cogent and logical, and he even claimed that all his antics leading up to the fight were nothing more than that.  He had won a fight against a superior athlete and, impossibly, he did it so convincingly that many people don’t expect Klitschko to win the rematch.  Klitschko has since exercised his contractual right to that rematch, and Fury has accepted for a date yet to be determined.

Fury had done all this in Germany and managed to even maintain a level of decorum, and then he sang.  One of the most outrageous and questionable claims of Fury’s maniacal pre-fight campaign was that he would sing a song after taking Klitschko’s championship.  After all that had happened, he kept his word, and sang “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” to his wife, and it was even romantic (on some level).  I don’t know what else to say.  Unexpected.

Tonight a much-anticipated fight between Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin will determine who moves ahead and who becomes a gatekeeper in the middleweight division.  While Quillin has faced marginally better opposition in his career, Jacobs is always a solid bet for an action-packed fight, and his heart and determination are evident every time.  I expect Quillin’s superior technique to make the difference early in the fight, with Jacobs struggling to get into a rhythm.  Quillin better have a good lead by the middle rounds, though, because if he gets too intimate with Jacobs after his own defense has loosened a bit, Jacobs’ expertise in achieving knockouts could be on display.

Manny Pacquiao is rumored to have set his final opponent.  Speculation is that he’ll choose either Amir Khan or Terence Crawford.  The former would be a good send-off, while the latter would be a challenge worthy of Pacquiao’s incalculable reputation.  Here’s hoping.

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Winners and Losers

There were a lot of things to be excited about and satisfied by with the most recent installment of Premier Boxing Champions on NBC.  Another example of unsurpassed matchmaking brought Andy Lee and Peter Quillin through one of the most brutal, exciting, back-and-forth fights most fans will ever be lucky enough to see.  Lee stubbornly refused to maintain distance from Quillin even having a significant height and reach advantage at three inches each.  When Quillin finally took advantage, it was extremely impressive to see Lee recover as quickly and fully as he did.  Lee mixed in some effective straights to discourage Quillin as the fight wore on, but it was only in the second half of the fight that he managed to demonstrate control of the action.  Lee’s knockdown in round 7 was both thrilling and confusing, as Quillin should have been athletic enough to maintain the advantage he had already established, even fighting defensively.  Lee showed again that he has underrated power and inestimable heart,  but his technique is incredibly frustrating to watch, because he gives up the only natural advantages his body type provides.  I think if he were able to commit himself to an effective jab and work on his distance with Quillin, he could win a rematch by unanimous decision.  Whether that’s an accurate assessment of Lee’s shortcomings or not, many other fans join me in clamoring to see the rematch.  When two fighters are so blissfully paired together to produce such athletic fireworks, it would be a shame to waste the opportunity to learn more about both the fighters from another 12 rounds.

Any regular reader of this blog knows that I’m biased toward the “loser” captured in the image above.  Lamont Peterson is an action fighter from my hometown who consistently shows impressive technique and conditioning, which is a comment that could just as easily be applied to his opponent in the fight, Danny Garcia.  That’s the very reason I was so sure this fight would please the fans and surprise the judges.  Garcia is a top-level fighter who can demolish almost any talented one-dimensional boxer, but he will always struggle when being confronted by a multi-faceted opponent.  In my admittedly less than objective opinion, the score cards were incorrect because of the judges perspective on the first four rounds.  The punch stats recorded by Compubox show that Peterson landed more shots in the first four rounds so volume of punches couldn’t have been a deciding factor for Garcia. At the end of the fight, Peterson’s percentage of shots landed was much higher in all three categories: overall punches, power shots and jabs. Usually when both fighters throw (approximately) the same number of punches, and one lands at a significantly better percentage, that fighter wins. This is not always true, but the fighter landing the more accurate punches being unmarked while his opponent is visibly damaged (see above image) is another cue. Garcia may have landed the hardest shots of the fight and some judges are easily swayed by a few choice shots, it may be in due no small part to the fact that Garcia played to the judges.  In round 4 when Garcia was most frustrated by Peterson’s defensive, counter punching style, Garcia stood with his hands down and motioned as if Peterson was refusing to engage.  Going back to the fight, though, shows that Peterson was not refusing to engage at all.  He threw more punches in most of those rounds and certainly landed more while Garcia tried to find his range.

It is arguable, on the other hand, whether Peterson’s movement was effective.   The scoring dictates that, in order, points are awarded based on effective punching, followed by effective aggression, ring generalship and defense. The last two criteria for those four rounds clearly go to Peterson, so the question is whether the first two criteria could be seen to go to Garcia four times in a row. Based on the number of punches landed according to Compubox, the only possible question remains with effective aggression. Garcia was certainly more aggressive, but I’d be surprised to hear a meaningful argument for his aggression being effective.

Garcia won the fight fairly.  Given the result of the co-feature bout between Lee and Quillin, I am surprised that all three judges were unable to see both sides of the technique being employed by the fighters, but the scores were close, at least.  The unusual circumstances surrounding the championships in the two fights (Peterson and Lee being stripped) didn’t help.The ultimate question about the result of a fight officially rendered inconsequential is which fighter you’d rather be.  Who was the loser? Was it one of the fighters, or the fans who were watching?

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