On The Beak – Admin
Welterweight Jessie Vargas and junior middleweight DeAndre Latimore were victorious, as expected, in the co-featured fights Friday on ShoBox: The New Generation but it wasn’t easy for either of them. In the main event, the undefeated Vargas, of Las Vegas, improved to 18-0-0, 9ko with a hard-fought albeit lopsided ten-round decision over Lanardo Tyner (25-7-2, 15ko) of Detroit. Vargas won by the scores of 99-91 (x3) in a fight he was made to work in.
Latimore (23-3, 17ko), of Las Vegas by way of St. Louis, had it much tougher. Making his first start in more than ten months, he took a ten-round majority decision over Milton Nunez (23-4-1, 21ko) of Barranquilla, Colombia. However, he had to overcome two knockdowns – one questionable — to do it. Latimore got the nod in a much closer scrap than anticipated by the tallies of 96-92, 95-94 and 94-94.
There were no knockdowns in Vargas-Tyner, but each went down twice from low blows. Tyner hit the canvas in the first and fourth, Vargas in the fourth and eighth. It was the second consecutive hard fight for Vargas. Last September, he came away with a split ten-round decision over Jose Lopez. There was some question whether Vargas deserved the victory against Lopez, but this time he left no doubt.
A vicious left hooker to the body, Vargas, 22, showed excellent poise and maturity against Tyner, who tried repeatedly to get into his head and take him out of his game plan: “I don’t think this was my toughest or hardest fight, but it was a good fight,” said Vargas, who was sporting a cut on the upper left side of his head afterward. “This was just another learning experience. I need these kinds of fights against these kinds of fighters to stay in position to move forward.
“I probably could have moved and boxed more, but he took my out of my game plan a few times. There were times when all I wanted to do was connect with the big shot.” He continued: “That low blow he got me with in the fourth round was definitely the hardest low blow I’ve ever been hit with. I’ve never been nailed with anything like that before.”
Latimore seemed to be cruising through eight rounds. He’d boxed well and dictated the pace. At times, it seemed that Nunez might be ready to go but Latimore was content to exercise patience and box. With less than 25 seconds remaining in the ninth round, Nunez scored the first of his knockdowns with a short overhand right hand. He followed with a barrage of nearly 20 punches, the majority of which landed, but Latimore survived and made it to the bell.
Knowing he still was well ahead on points, Latimore came out on his bicycle in the 10th. But he got caught again.
“It was my first start in nearly a year and I’m just happy to get the win,” said Latimore, who was making his first start for new trainer Jeff Mayweather. “Honestly I didn’t care if I won by ten points or one, I just wanted the win. I had to pace myself at times but I did what I had to do and what Jeff wanted me to do. The second knockdown wasn’t a knockdown,” he said. “I went down from headbutts.
“It is what it is, though, and I look forward to getting back to work in the gym and fighting on a regular basis.”
The hard-hitting Nunez felt the fight should have been stopped in the ninth.
“I knocked him down and was hitting him with a barrage of right and left hands and the referee [Joe Cortez] moved in and stepped between us. I thought he was going to stop it. You don’t do what the ref did and not stop the fight.
“Still, I thought I’d done enough to win.”
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Following a recent interview on a radio show, defensively-savvy Floyd Mayweather Jr indicated that he could return to the ring as early as February, 2012, however, the talented American – undefeated in 42 professional prizefights – has corrected reports he will fight in three months by reiterating that he returns to the ring for the Cinco de Mayo date. An opponent for the current WBC welterweight world championship incumbent is yet to be announced.
“I just want to get back in the ring and give the fans some more,” Mayweather said – in an admission he wants to box as actively as possible – when speaking to Boxing Socialist.
“But May is the date,” he stated. “May 1st [sic] or 5th [Saturday] whatever.”
Mayweather (42-0-0, 26ko) interrupted a 16-month sojourn from the sport of boxing to take on the young and hungry Victor Ortiz in September. Ortiz had just come off a huge win in April, when he beat down, out-hustled and out-pointed long-reigning WBC titlist Andre Berto in an edge-of-the-seat encounter that contained a potential round-of-the-year due to a thrilling sixth.
Ortiz did not get to make one successful defence of the championship, though, as he was knocked out in the fourth round by Mayweather.
Initially, it was unclear whether Floyd would embark on a further lengthy spell away from the sweet science, but the pugilist expressed a desire to satisfy his fans’ calls to fight at least twice per year and so he duly reserved the popular prizefighting date of May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) for next year at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. What makes May 5 even more alluring is that, for 2012, it falls on the Saturday.
Speculated opponents have been Sergio Martinez, Erik Morales and Robert Guerrero.
Mayweather, though, will not discount welterweight and pound-for-pound rival Manny Pacquiao, providing he undergo Olympic style blood testing; something Floyd insists all his opponents do: “If you’re the best, take the test.
“I’m not singling out one man. There is so much cheating going on in the sport, that’s why every man I face will have to take the test. I’m trying to clean up the sport.”
Related article: Roger Mayweather and Floyd Sr on Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez
Related article: Who should Floyd Mayweather Jr fight next?
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
The announcement that Floyd Mayweather Jr had put the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on hold for May 5, 2012, combined with the declaration that he intended to box ‘the little fella‘, sparked innumerable reports that it was only a matter of time before Mayweather Promotions re-entered negotiations with Top Rank Boxing over a fight with Manny Pacquiao, however, Bob Arum has claimed ‘Cinco de Mayo‘ is a ploy to lure Erik Morales into competition.
A national holiday in Mexico and one also celebrated by Mexican-Americans, Cinco de Mayo (May 5) has also become synonymous with big-time boxing as it has a history of hosting fights such as Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo I, a clutch of Julio Cesar Chavez Sr outings and Oscar de la Hoya held fights as close to the date on certain years also.
In 2012, Mayweather Jr (42-0-0, 26ko) is eager to continue that tradition as it falls on a Saturday. The ‘little fella’ that chief executive of Mayweather Promotions, Leonard Ellerbe, was speaking of, however, was not Manny Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38ko) but Erik Morales, according to Arum.
He told the Manila Bulletin: “You know who the little fellow that they already approached? It’s Erik Morales. And Erik will confirm it – absolutely. Erik has been approached to make the fight. He’ll take it for the money. I’m sure he’ll take it for the money. Why wouldn’t he?”
Arum continued: “[Mayweather] was on television last night. They say, ‘Why don’t you fight Pacquiao?’ And he says, ‘Take the test, take the test.’ What is he talking about? Everybody knows that’s not an issue anymore. He will not fight Manny Pacquiao. And who cares. There are some better guys out there for Manny to fight. They got MGM to get the date, to get May 5. So they cut us out of getting May 5. But we don’t need May 5 because we’re not fighting a Spanish guy next. But they want May 5 because they’re fighting Morales.”
Mayweather Promotions, though, are yet to confirm or deny what is currently speculation. The initial rumours were sparked when Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez was questioned by Mexican press whether a Morales and Mayweather fight would be possible, to which he replied it would be, that Morales would welcome the challenge.
Robert Delgado – Los Angeles
Top Rank founder Bob Arum is fuming at Leonard Ellerbe‘s announcement that May 5, 2012 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas has been reserved for a fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr and, who they hope will be ‘the little fella‘ Manny Pacquiao. Furthermore, the Filipino fighter’s adviser Michael Koncz has seethed at what he deems to be deflection tactics as Mayweather’s declaration has come just days before Manny’s November 12 dust-up with Juan Manuel Marquez.
“It’s a difficult fight to make, first of all, they’ve already said that it’s May 5. They already said that it’s at the MGM. How dare them?” stormed Arum to The Ring.
Arum, the long time promoter of Pacquiao, questioned the professionalism of Team Mayweather and Ellerbe who, earlier this week, attempted to put the ball in Manny’s court by claiming a mega casino in Vegas will house Floyd’s May 5 fight.
“I’m really outraged that they made the announcement now right before Manny’s fight, and we’ll remember that. And who are they to say what date that the fight would be held? What kind of of negotiation is that? So, if the MGM gave them May 5, then, Manny may fight somebody else in April in Texas or in the Thomas and Mack.
“This is not the way to make a deal,” he finished.
Like Arum, Pacquiao’s adviser Koncz has fulminated over Ellerbe’s decision to make this declaration on the advent of the concluding bout in Pacquiao (53-3-2, 38ko) and Juan Manuel Marquez’s epic trilogy on Saturday, November 12.
“They’re just making an announcement to steal the thunder from Manny Pacquiao’s show that’s coming up, and there’s going to be another opponent,” said Koncz, before adding that even though Ellerbe stated Mayweather (42-0-0, 26ko) alluded to his desire to box Manny, there has been no actual to-and-for between the two camps. “There’s been no discussion.
“So as Arum said, how can he choose a venue and also choose a date? That’s all part of a fight negotiation, along with the fighters’ purses, when you’re going to try to make a fight between the fighters’ camps. As far as I’m aware, nobody from Mayweather’s camp has contacted Manny directly or myself, or anybody else in position to discuss the fight.
“Mayweather can not attempt to control everything by already selecting a venue, and selecting a date, because if the opponent is Manny Pacquiao that he intends to fight, then he needs to check with Manny to see if he’s even available on that date.”
Alan Dawson – London
An incredibly gifted boxer who is blessed with great athleticism, intuitive reflexes, defensive nous and counter-punching ability, Floyd Mayweather Jr is yet to be beat, has never been beaten-up and rarely loses a round. His body of work – from a bronze medal featherweight Olympian to current WBC welterweight world champion – is astounding as he slays some of the most notable names in the sport whilst acting as a magnet for major honours.
|Five Of The Best
|Genaro Hernandez – 1998
|Diego Corrales – 2001
|Jesus Chavez – 2001
|Arturo Gatti – 2005
|Oscar de la Hoya – 2007
Skills to pay the bills
There are two main types of defensive boxers… evaders and blockers. Floyd’s armour has elements of both but he mostly aims to block or parry punches away from his frame. In his younger years as a professional he employed lateral movement, but at 34-years-old he is beginning to show signs that he is less busy with his feet and, instead, blocks using his guard and also retains his upper-body movement.
The undefeated American, a Michigan man who fights out of Las Vegas, has perfected the Philly-shell guard and shoulder-roll technique. Foot movement is key for Mayweather Jr to effectively apply his defensive plan. He has a wide stance which ensures he is balanced and is able to use leverage with his own punches. He also controls the range between himself and the man in front of him.
Floyd protects his chin with a loose right glove while his left arm protects his ribs/solar plexus and is parallel to his shoulders. When an opponent’s right hand comes in over the top, Floyd rolls the lead shoulder (his left) to his right so the shot misses it’s target.
Floyd’s defence is just as effective in the middle of the ring as it is on the ropes. Should he take a brief respite from his own action and allow a fighter to come to him, he backs up onto the ropes and either catches rights with his left glove, rolls with the shoulder to block or leans his head back from high jabs.
It is also with this defensive foundation that he is able to launch his own attack – the counter-striking initiative. With his elbows tucked in, he can protect himself from an incoming hook shot to the body, but before his opponent can retreat out of the pocket, Mayweather Jr – whose inside game is often under-rated by fighters going into match-ups with him – snaps a left uppercut toward the chest of chin. Should he catch an orthodox jab with his right glove, he’ll then snap his own lead shot over his opponent’s arm that guides it to the chin.
By becoming so proficient in the defensive arts, Mayweather Jr has reduced an offensive fighter’s aggression into impotency: Diego Corrales, Jesus Chavez, Arturo Gatti, Phillip N’Dou, Ricky Hatton and, most recently, Victor Ortiz have all been frustrated at their inability to land their punches cleanly.
Money May’s economy remains at peak
Mayweather Jr’s first world title win was in 1998 – his 18th professional fight, just two years after leaving the unpaid ranks behind, at just 21-years-old. Genero Hernandez was a two-time super featherweight titlist, the lineal champion and only had one loss on his resume at the time – to Oscar de la Hoya. The Hernandez versus Mayweather Jr match-up, was, pre-fight, deemed to be a 50/50 showdown but what transpired was anything but as Floyd dominated proceedings on his way to a tenth round retirement.
From that day, October 3, 13 years ago, Mayweather has accumulated a further eight world titles. A five-weight world champion, Mayweather Jr’s scalps are a list of who’s who in modern boxing: Corrales, Chavez, Jose Luis Castillo, DeMarcus Corley, Gatti, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, de la Hoya, Hatton, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley.
In his first defence of his super featherweight belt, Floyd took on Angel Manfredy who had upset Gatti. Mayweather Jr recorded an emphatic second round stoppage, not because of a knockdown, but by virtue his attack was left unanswered by Manfredy. The win punctuated a perfect 1998 for Mayweather Jr and he received the fighter of the year award.
In 2001 – one of, if not the finest Floyd year – Mayweather Jr took on Corrales in a battle of the undefeated. Corrales received a brutal beating as he was dropped five times and his corner were forced to throw in the white towel after ten tortuous rounds of good-timing, accurate punching and stubborn guarding. Four months later, Mayweather Jr decisioned Carlos Hernandez before taking on Jesus Chavez – a future two-weight world champion.
It was Chavez’s first world title shot but Mayweather Jr had no intention on relinquishing his belt at 130lbs. Again, Floyd excelled on the inside as Chavez had no solution for the numerous uppercuts that kept on tilting the tough Mexican’s head back after Floyd repeatedly landed on his chin, with force.
His 2005 match-up with Gatti pitted defence against attack. Mayweather Jr threw Arturo off his game plan early, canvassing him in the opening stanza before toying with the tough Canadian for a further five rounds prior to a retirement. During the build-up to the fight, Mayweather Jr ripped Gatti by labeling him a “blown-up club fighter”.
It was deemed insulting and typical brash talk from Floyd but on that night, June 25, he made him look like one such was the gulf in class and skills between the two.
Despite all his earlier work it was not until a split decision win over de la Hoya that Mayweather Jr became widely accepted as the best boxer on the planet, regardless of weight class.
It was a changing of the guard… critics point to the split and argue the Golden Boy did enough to win, or at least obtain a draw, however, Mayweather Jr out-landed his opponent by 85 shots, including 56 power punches.
Pound for pound rank – 1
Few, if any, prizefighters could return following a 16-month hiatus from the sport, take on what was perceived to be a hungry lion before the fight (a big welterweight cat – Ortiz – coming off the back of de-clawing Andre Berto in a thumping victory) and win as decisively as Mayweather Jr did. Prior to September 17, he was unranked yet in one night he propelled back up the division and pound-for-pound charts – occupying second spot in both.
Mayweather Jr has many plus points for the argument that he should be number one… he is undefeated, is now a seasoned welterweight campaigner and nobody at 147lbs has come close to testing him (the de la Hoya split decision was fought at a super welterweight catchweight).
P4P rival, Manny Pacquiao, though, had a clear advantage due to activity, yet, with his November duel with Mexican nemesis Marquez, his grip at the pinnacle of the pound-for-pound charts came into question. The Filipino appeared fallible, defeatable and, therefore, was a stark contrast to Floyd who, despite his 99 problems, boxing ain’t – and never has been – one.
|WBC super featherweight champion
|WBC lightweight champ
|The Ring magazine lightweight champ
|WBC super lightweight champ
|IBF welterweight world champ
|WBC welterweight champ
|The Ring magazine welterweight champ
|WBC super welterweight champ
All pictures: Stacey Verbeek – Maple Avenue Boxing Gym, Dallas
Headlining acts Floyd Mayweather Jr and Victor Ortiz took centre stage at the final press conference for the Star Power event on Saturday, September 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas but, instead of endless column inches dedicated to tactics and pre-fight quotes, a “kiss” has dominated the media. A face-off where both fighters were getting mouthy ended up seeming like Mayweather’s lips were flirting with Ortiz’s nose.
On The Beak – Admin
Super Lightweight prospect-come-contender Jessie Vargas takes another step-up in class when he collides with NABF champion Josesito Lopez in the Star Power event’s televised curtain-raiser on Saturday, September 17 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. In the training videos below, Vargas can be seen working the heavy bag and double-end bag. In both routines he uses distance, doubles and trebles up on the jab and incorporates the straight right into his punching repertoire.
(Embedded videos below credit – Youtube, Usmcarrillo)
On The Beak – Admin
NABF super lightweight champion Josesito Lopez fights Mayweather Promotions protege Jessie Vargas in the televised curtain-raiser for Saturday, September 17‘s Star Power event staged at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas. In the video below Lopez can be found working out on the heavy bag, double-end bag and the pads while both the fighter and the trainer – Henry Ramirez – discuss camp and Vargas.
(Embedded video below credit – Youtube, GoossenTutorBoxing)
Alan Dawson – London
Never one to shy away from making public his ambitions in boxing, Britain’s premier prizefighter – Amir Khan – has oft spoken of marrying his desires to a: stage a super fight in England, most likely at the 90,000 capacity home of English sport Wembley Stadium and b: to challenge undefeated American Floyd Mayweather Jr in the summer of 2012. Such dreams, though, may only be fulfilled should Khan first take on a boxer within the Mayweather Promotions stable – Jessie Vargas.
Maturing from fight to fight, Khan (26-1-0, 18ko) is currently a unified champion in the super lightweight division having annexed Zab Judah’s erstwhile IBF title with his own WBA crown that he was initially awarded for out-boxing Andriy Kotelnik back in 2009.
Khan is undefeated in world championship fights, has made five successful defences in the 140lb weight class and foresees one fight left in the division – perhaps against IBF mandatory challenger Lamont Peterson – before moving up to welterweight.
A bedding-in period of one fight, likely a homecoming bout against one of Matthew Hatton or Kell Brook, had been mooted by both Khan and US representative Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions should Khan extend his formidable run this year, before finally challenging Mayweather Jr (41-0-0, 25ko).
Floyd, who has his own world title challenge fast approaching against game WBC champion Victor Ortiz on September 17, has long proclaimed that “all roads lead to Mayweather Jr”, yet these roads often contain speed-humps. For Amir, that speed-hump has a name; Jessie Vargas (16-0-0, 9ko).
“You’ve got different fighters calling Floyd Mayweather out at this particular time,” Mayweather Jr explained to ESPN. “You’ve got one guy from the UK by the name of Amir Khan. I’ve told him he can fight Floyd Mayweather, but he must go through Jessie Vargas first.”
A prospect/contender at super lightweight, Vargas – a protege of Mayweather Jr – has flourished whilst under the tutelage of Roger Mayweather at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas.
The exciting 22-year-old, tall for a 140lb campaigner at 5’11, has stolen headlines within the boxing press due to swift knockout victories over former world champion Vivian Harris and respected and durable journeyman Walter Estrada this year; the latter of which remains a leading candidate for knockout of the year.
“If Amir Khan can get past Jessie Vargas, he can have a fight with Floyd Mayweather.”
Vargas makes his pay-per-view debut on the undercard of Ortiz/Mayweather Jr. The fighter, dubbed La Nueva Generacion, takes on Josesito Lopez, a solid domestic-level opponent, yet will be without Roger Mayweather as he will be in Floyd’s corner in the headlining bout. He has instead been working with Robert Alcazar, who headed his corner during the Estrada fight.
Denzil Stone – Atlantic City
Rising super lightweight star Jessie Vargas puts his undefeated record on the line as he takes on well-ranked domestic rival Josesito Lopez on Saturday, September 17 at the Star Power event in the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas. Vargas and Lopez provide the curtain-raiser for the televised undercard, however, Vargas will make his pay-per-view debut without Roger Mayweather who will be working Floyd’s corner on the same night…
“This has been my dream since I was a kid, and now I’m living it,” the 22-year-old, who is ranked as On The Beak‘s seventh best operator at 140lbs, is quoted to have said by the Las Vegas Review Journal. “I’m hoping to fight for a world title sometime next year. But to get that chance, I have to keep winning.”
The highly-talented American, unbeaten in 16 professional fights, has – for the bulk of his career – been learning his trade from Roger Mayweather at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas. He made his debut in 2008, wiped out three undefeated prizefighter during the embryonic stages of his own development, is now enjoying a stand-out 2011 and, should he continue to impress, could well announce himself as the prospect of the year.
Lopez (29-3-0, 17ko) will represent Vargas’ fourth opponent of the year as he out-pointed Cristian Favela in February, before securing swift and stunning stoppages over Vivian Harris and Walter Estrada. His fight against Lopez who, despite his three defeats, has never been knocked out, is scheduled for ten rounds.
It is clear his team are eager to challenge him with a distance fight yet he will have to do so without long-time trainer Roger, who will be giving WBC welterweight world title challenger Floyd Mayweather instruction as the uncle/nephew duo attempt to de-throne Vicious Victor Ortiz in Star Power’s headlining scrap.
Roger nurtured Vargas’ talent and oversaw his corner for his first 15 fights… in the 16th, against Estrada, Robert Alcazar took the reins and Alcazar will once again be teaming up with Vargas. Jessie (16-0-0, 9ko) confirmed: “I’m much more comfortable with [Alcazar]. He’s built on the things that Roger taught me, and he has helped me with my footwork. We only had two weeks for our first fight together. Now, with seven weeks to prepare for this fight, I expect there’ll be a big difference.
“I’m not focusing on being undefeated. It’s about being the best boxer I can be, and I’m confident I will be fighting for one of the belts in 2012.”