"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
~Mike Tyson

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Loaded Gloves Podcast - Episode 10

Earlier today Episode 10 of The Loaded Gloves boxing podcast aired. In this episode @757Vic and I review Saunders vs Lemieux, cover a ton of news and notes, and take phone calls from our listeners. Also included in this episode is an epic intro-rant.

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast - Episode 8

In this week's episode, Scott and Victor talk Miguel Cotto vs. Sadam Ali, Rey Vargas vs. Oscar Negrete, Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux, Anthony Joshua's apparently racist online comments, Terence Crawford's move up to 147 lbs. and a bevy of other boxing topics. Have a listen won't you?

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast - Episode 7

No, you're reading that correctly. Episode 7 of The Loaded Gloves boxing podcast is now up online and ready for streaming/downloading. So what happened to episodes 6, 5, 4, and 3? Well all 6 of my children fell ill as did my wife, all nearly in succession too, so the illness running rampant through my home put a bit of damper on Split D Boxing. It was not without difficulty but Victor and I managed to record these "missing" episodes during these last few weeks. They're up on Blog Talk Radio where you can listen at your leisure. I simply did not have time to post them on this blog. In fact today's show, episode 7, aired 4 days late because I too contracted a virus. @757Vic and I will be back this Sunday with episode 8! Enjoy the fights!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast - Episode 3

Photo: http://i.dailymail.co.uk
Earlier today your host Scott Jarvis and co-host Victor Atkinson aired episode 3 of the Loaded Gloves boxing podcast. They guys fielded calls and talked extensively about:

  • Deontay Wilder vs Bermane Stiverne
  • Shawn Porter vs Adrian Granados
  • Sergey Lipinets vs Akihiro Kondo
  • Dominic Breazeale vs Eric Molina
  • A potential Joshua/Wilder showdown
  • ...and many other boxing topics.

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Monday, October 30, 2017

The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast - Episode 2

Photo: boxrec.com
Here it is boxing fans! Host Scott Jarvis and co-host Victor Atkinson talk all things happening in the world of boxing for the week of October 23rd-28th 2017. Topics include:
  • Anthony Joshua vs Carlos Takam
  • Dillian Whyte vs Robert Helenius
  • Kal Yafai vs Sho Ishida
  • Juergen Braehmer vs Rob Brant
  • The World Boxing Super Series tournaments
  • Deontay Wilder vs Bermane Stiverne
  • David Lemieux vs Billy Joe Saunders

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Billy Joe Saunders vs David Lemieux: Analysis, Breakdown, And Prediction

The Boxer vs. The Puncher

Photo: boxingscene.com
The name Billy Joe Saunders (25-0-0 12 KO's) isn't a name that's exactly synonymous with excitement, quality, nor entertainment. Conversely, the name David Lemieux (38-3-0 33 KO's) gets most boxing fans talking if not excited as well. More to the point, a fight between WBO Middleweight titlist Saunders and the heavy handed and aggressive Lemieux was no more than a fantasy mere weeks ago. Most believed that Saunders, who has made a career out of fighting soft touches, would remain content to stay in England and continue to milk his WBO title for all it's worth. Few, including this scribe, would have predicted that a fight between the two would ever get made if only because Saunders isn't a fighter that takes risks.

Photo: 1.bp.blogspot.com
While rumor has it that it's 30 below zero in Hell at the moment it's a fact that Billy Joe Saunders vs David Lemieux is a go for December 16th 2017. The two are set to square off at Place Bell in Quebec Canada. What promoted Saunders not only only leave his home country for a fight but to fight someone as dangerous and as strong as Lemieux has some flummoxed. While fight fans continue to speculate this, no one is complaining. With the exception of a few hiccups along the way, 2017 has been the gift that keeps on giving. It has been an exceptional year for the sport and Saunders vs Lemieux is one hell of a way to send 2017 off into the sunset.

Fighter Analysis

Billy Joe Saunders

Photo: boxrec
England's Billy Joe Saunders is more boxer than he is puncher as indicated by his knockout ratio. In Saunders' case his lack of power may stem more from his penchant for pushing, slapping, and being somewhat inaccurate with his punches rather than a lack of raw power. Saunders doesn't fully commit his body to a punch nor does he turn his hands over when he throws his punches. Instead, Saunders is the type of boxer who comes into a fight looking to score points and offset his opponents offense with his movement. Saunders also throws a great deal of looping power shots that leave him open for counters though against Lemieux don't expect Saunders to be as liberal with his power shots as he normally is. Looking over Saunders' resume you'll notice that he's never been tested nor has he ever faced his division's top talent.  David Lemieux may not ever set the world on fire with his boxing technique but he's the best fighter Saunders has ever faced. He's also the most dangerous which makes one wonder why so many pundits are picking Saunders to outbox Lemieux rather easily and earn a unanimous decision. He may be a "boxer" but are his skills so great that they can shut down Lemieux's high pressure offense and nullify his power?

David Lemieux

Photo: boxrec.com
Canada's Lemieux may not possess the technical prowess of a Pernell Whitaker, the grace of Muhammad Ali, nor the ring IQ of a Mayweather Jr. but the man has power and plenty of it. There's no doubt David has thunderous power in both hands but like Saunders, his resume is rather thin as well. While one could argue that Lemieux has faced and defeated the better opposition of the two, who a fighter loses to and how he loses says as much about him as who he beats. In Lemieux's case he's been knocked out in 2 of his 3 losses. The first loss of his career came at the hands of tough Mexican contender Marco Antonio Rubio back in 2011. In just his very next bout, Lemieux dropped a majority decision to Joachim Alcine. He then rehabilitated his career and remained undefeated until he ran into Middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in 2015. Against Golovkin he was once again stopped albeit by a vastly more talented boxer. Against Saunders however Lemieux won't have to worry about that kind of power nor are the tools in the Saunders tool box as sharp or as deadly as Golovkin's. An unfortunate side effect of having such heavy hands, most underrate or completely write off Lemieux's boxing ability. As I stated previously he's no Ray Leonard but he has shown on occasion that there's more there than just a battering ram that continually moves forward. Will David's power and relentless offense be enough to slow Saunders down and stop him? Additionally, will Lemieux be capable of catching and connecting on Saunders?

Keys To Victory

Billy Joe Saunders

Photo: http://e1.365dm.com
While Saunders is most assuredly the better pure boxer of the two, Saunders must refrain from engaging Lemieux in a firefight. In his last fight against Willie Monroe Jr, Saunders was aggressive at times and pushed the action. Against David Lemieux, Saunders will want to use his jab to keep and control distance. A good jab has proved to be troublesome for the hard hitting Canadian at times in the past so Saunders would be wise to use it often, double it when possible, and keep it in Lemieux's face. In addition to working the jab for 12 rounds, Saunders will need to use his superior footwork to stay both out of range and to work at odd angles. If Saunders can put David into chase-mode" he might just walk away with the victory.

David Lemieux

Photo: rdsimages.cookieless.ca
Saunders has never faced an opponent as dangerous and as lethal as Lemieux. Moreover Saunders has looked shaky against over matched opponents as of late. Knowing this, Lemieux should  push the action hard from the opening bell and be his relentless self. He should remember however who the boxer is in this fight and keep himself from becoming frustrated when he drops the first 2-3 rounds to the better mover in Saunders. David needs to be steady in his work and hit Saunders on the shoulders, arms... anywhere and everywhere he can. In this fight patience is key for Lemieux as is stamina since stopping Saunders may require wearing him down over the course of the fight. Speaking of which, going to the body often will serve David well in this bout. Body damage will slow the more mobile Saunders and help bring his guard down. I am not suggesting Lemieux forego the headhunting but a more varied attack will help him soften up Saunders for a stoppage.

How The Fight Plays Out

Expect Lemieux to answer the opening bell with a furious attack which Saunders avoids and/or blocks. As the more heavy handed fighter gasses a bit Saunders launches his offense which is comprised mostly of jabs. Saunders then controls the action and does most of the scoring in rounds 1-3. As round 4 gets underway Lemieux begins to connect with some meaningful punches much like Canelo did against Khan. As he lands Saunders attacks will lose steam and then eventually become  non existent. From here Saunders begins spending more and more time on the back foot until he tires and is eventually caught flush with something big from Lemieux. Once Billy Joe hits the canvas don't expect him to get up.  Lemiuex's pressure and power overwhelm and eventually exhaust Saunders.

Just as is the case with Erislandy Lara, too many people are giving Saunders credit simply because of his fighting style. Employing a certain style doesn't necessarily equate to being good, very good, great, or even elite...no matter how much some people want you to believe that. Saunders is a solid fighter but he's not the talent some think he is. On the other hand Lemieux is also a limited fighter which is part of what makes this match up so intriguing. Keep in mind though that while styles make fights, it's the level at which a style is executed that wins fights.

Winner: David Lemieux KO, Round 6

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Scott And Victor Appear On BDA Boxing's Podcast

The host of The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast, Scott Jarvis and Co-host Victor Atkinson make regular guest appearances on BDA Boxing's podcast but this weeks appearance was especially noteworthy. The show started off well but at the 3 hour and 5 minute mark things spiraled into chaos and became one big beautiful mess.

Another guest caller whom goes by his Twitter handle, @mylowplace called in and boldly proclaimed that not only would Billy Joe Saunders outbox and defeat Middleweight kingpin Gennady Golovkin but that WBC Light Heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson is the pound for pound best fighter on the planet. Of course this sent the entire panel of callers into a frenzy. At one point host BDA lost control of his show and despite multiple attempts to reign everyone in he eventually just allowed his panel go at it full throttle. This was hands down one of the best episodes of any boxing podcast...ever. At it's conclusion I was happy Victor and I didn't have to go on the air with our show. I was exhausted. Give it a listen!

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Split D Boxing Launches The "Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast"!

Listen now!
Split D Boxing is proud to announce the launch of it's boxing podcast titled "The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast". It's first episode aired on October 14th and featured Split D Boxing owner Scott Jarvis as host and Victor Atkinson as the show's co-host. No topic is taboo in the "no bullshit" zone and both Scott and Victor's passion for the sport carry the show seamlessly through its two hour run time. The show itself follows a traditional though flexible format as Scott and Victor preview and review fights, talk boxing news, and discuss the business and politics of the sport.

Scott Jarvis is the 44 year old host of The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast and has been a boxing aficionado for 32 years. A keen observer of the sport, Scott has a passion for boxing that few can match and this passion helps drive him in creating interesting and entertaining boxing content for the larger Split D Boxing network. Co-host Victor Atkinson on the other hand is a 24 year old astute fan of the sport who's sharp eye and opinionated voice can cut through the politics and the hype surrounding networks, fighters, fights, promoters, etc.

When asked why Split D Boxing launched a podcast before anything else Split D Boxing owner Scott Jarvis had this to say. "I want Split D Boxig to become a home not only for those who already have a passion for the sport but for those who might have just discovered it as well. Given that podcasts are so popular amongst boxing fans and so easy to find the format made the most sense."

The Loaded Gloves Boxing Podcast airs live every Sunday (time of day to be determined) and can not only be heard at Blog Talk Radio but across Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube as well.

Scott Jarvis is an independent boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Super Heavy And Super Sloppy - A Boxing Rant

Photo: d13csqd2kn0ewr.cloudfront.net
On October 6th it was reported that the World Boxing Council is seriously exploring the idea of creating a new weight class, that being a Super Heavyweight division. The idea isn't exactly a new one as sanctioning bodies have considered doing so a number of times in the past. At first glance the idea may seem like a good one but when you take a critical look at things you'll find it's much more complicated than simply throwing a new division out there. Heavyweight boxers have continually grown larger over the years and many pundits argue that a fight between a boxer who weights 210 lbs and another whom weighs 260 lbs simply isn't fair. There's also persons whom argue that such weight disparities pose serious risks to smaller fighters. Every division in boxing, save for the heavyweight division, has a weight limit so why are there no limits placed on the big men or the giants of the sport?

Photo: http://ringsidereport.com
Splitting the glamour division of boxing into 2 separate weight classes carries with it some serious repercussions for the sport,  those who follow/support it, and of course the fighters affected by this split. First off doing so presents a somewhat slippery slope setting a precedent for further weight class splits. Will there be a limit to the Super Heavyweight division and if not...why split the Heavyweight division into two at all? Seems like an exercise in redundancy does it not? If the Super Heavyweight division does receive a weight limit what is that limit and why not split that division into two as well? Would boxing not need an Ultra or Supreme Heavyweight division to ensure fair fights and keep serious injury or deaths to a minimum?

Setting aside the problem of ad infinitum for now, let's talk about boxing's original 8 weight classes for a moment. These were as follows:

  • Flyweight: 112 lbs 
  • Bantamweight: 118 
  • Featherweight: 126 
  • Lightweight: 135
  • Welterweight: 147
  • Middleweight: 160
  • Light Heavyweight: 175 
  • Heavyweight: 201 (no limit)
In the era where only these 8 weight classes existed fighters would use catch-weights not as shields or as means to avoid a fighter but rather in order to allow boxers of different weight classes to face one another. As the latter half of the 20th century rolled on the Jr.'s and Supers of each division were added until there were the 17 weight classes the sport has today. There are a great number of people who bemoan the large number of weight classes in the sport and aren't exactly excited about another seemingly inessential division.

Those who periodically call for a return to the sports orginal 8 weight classes shouldn't hold their breath. Don't let the phrase "Non-profit Institution" fool you into thinking that the sanctioning bodies don't love money. More weight classes means more champions, more champions means more titles, more titles means more belts, and more belts mean more sanctioning fees. You would also do well to remember that there isn't just one champion per sanctioning body anymore either. There are:

  • Regular Champions
  • Super Champions
  • Champions Emeritus
  • Interim Champions
  • Champions In Recess
  • Silver Champions
  • Diamond Champions
  • Eternal Champions
  • Super Hyper Regular Diamond Champions In Recess
Photo: fightsaga.com
Ok, so I had a little fun with that last one but I did so to illustrate a point. That point being that it's difficult, even with the internet, for the sports hard core fans to keep track of which fighters hold which titles in which divisions. Imagine how confusing it must be for casual observers to try and make sense of it all. Creating a Super Heavyweight division adds to an already confusing and overcrowded championship landscape and in the process moves the spotlight off the most famous division in boxing's storied history. Quick side note...many of today's Heavyweight fighters are fat Cruiserweights. Does a Super Heavyweight division give these fighters an even bigger excuse to remain overweight, under-trained, and undisciplined? Would some of the super heavyweights not be fat heavyweights dealing with the same issues?

Will It Happen?

WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has stated that it will be a minimum of 6 months before his organization makes a decision either way and even if the WBC decides to move forward with the split it won't happen overnight. If yours truly were a betting man I'd bet that it does finally happen however. Perhaps the time has come for a Super Heavyweight division. More importantly, perhaps the WBC has found a way to make this split financially viable. Time will tell.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Heavyweight High Blood Pressure - A Boxing Rant

Luis Ortiz
Photo: steroid.com
Just as soon as news of heavyweight Luis Ortizs' failed blood test broke on September 28th I jumped at the opportunity to write a piece about it. At that time there was very little information about the failed anti-doping test and I, like many others, assumed that his November 4th battle with WBC Heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder would be called off. As the details of the failed test were disseminated throughout social media however things grew ever more complicated. The Cuban born Ortiz, who has previously tested positive for banned substances, was found to have chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide in his system. According to VADA these two substances are masking agents that fighters can use to hide performance enhancing steroids.

Photo: drfuhrman.com
So Ortiz is guilty as charged yet again? No, at least not yet. Ortiz and his team have gone on record as stating that the chlorothaizide and hydrochlorothiazide found in his blood stem not from an attempt to cheat but rather from the fighter's taking of prescription blood pressure medication. Lending some weight to their defense, team Ortiz has even gone so far as to post pictures of these prescriptions on Twitter. While Ortiz does indeed have prescriptions for Atenolol and Losartan which help control high blood pressure/hypertension it's uncertain, at least at the time of this writing, just how long he has been using these to keep his cardiovascular system in check. More importantly however fans and media members would love to know exactly how and why Ortizs' prescriptions where not disclosed to the anti-doping agency VADA before the program began. One would think that any fighter who had previously tested positive for banned substances would be sure to disclose any and all prescription medications to the firm testing for their next bout. Furthermore where was Ortiz's team in all of this? If there were language barriers, problems with forms, communication issues, etc. could they not have stepped in and up to ensure that VADA knew of these important medications? This type of negligence, while not necessarily an indicator of an attempt to cheat, certainly looks sloppy and raises eyebrows.

Given Ortiz's history with banned substances, yours truly was ready to throw the book at Ortiz not long after the initial news found it's way onto the internet. While I don't really have a problem with athletes taking performance enhancing drugs (more on that another time), I'm an ardent believer in a fair fight so as long as these drugs remain impermissible no one should get away with using them. I remained steadfast in my belief that Ortiz was probably guilty until I listened to Victor Conte talk about the situation on Steve Kim's "The Next Round" this past Tuesday morning. At one point Conte was convicted and imprisoned for helping boxers use performance enhancing chemicals but since his release he has remained at the forefront of the clean sport movement. To say he knows a thing or two about using steroids, how to mask attempts to cheat, and anti-doping testing protocols would be selling the man short. You can listen to Victor's entire guest spot on The Next Round here but Victor does not believe there was any intent to cheat and provided some very sound and persuasive arguments to back his position up. Conte also stated that in his opinion the Ortiz-Wilder fight should move forward. After listening to Conte's arguments I changed my position and now feel as Victor does with regards to the Wilder fight moving forward.

Enter The WBC

Since 1963
Photo: thesweetscience.com
Not long after it was reported that Ortiz had once again tested positive for banned substances, there was mention of Deontay Wilder expressing interest in the fight moving forward regardless. At the same time, team Ortiz offered to submit hair samples for further testing in hopes of proving their fighter's innocence and to keep the title fight alive. No one but those closest to the WBC champion however can attest to just how serious Wilder was in wanting to fight Ortiz but that became a moot point when the World Boxing Council stepped in and withdrew their support for the fight. The organization asserted that they are putting the health of Luis Ortiz first and want him to see a doctor in order to determine if it's safe for him to fight. Additionally they ordered Wilder to face his mandatory challenger...one Bermane Stiverne. There are plenty of examples where a sanctioning body forcing a fight between a champion and his mandatory challenger have proven to be good for the sport but this is not one of them.

If a "mandatory challenger" is a boxer that has worked hard, defeated other top talents in his division, and done something special to earn a shot at the champion, Bermane Stiverne is the absolute antithesis of that. Making matters worse for fans and for the heavyweight division, Stiverne was beaten convincingly by Wilder in a unanimous decision back in January of 2015. Since that loss to Wilder, Stiverne has fought just once against journeyman Derric Rossy (30-10-0 15 KO's) in a fight where he won a decision but saw himself hitting the canvas in the first round after Rossy connected with a right hand. Unworthy and vastly over matched mandatory challengers are a staple in the sport but Stiverne is the type of fighter that gives those fighters a bad name. It would be generous to say that Stiverne has done nothing to earn the title shot he's being given though it is worthy of noting that Stiverne is promoted by Don King. It's also worth noting that Stiverne himself tested positive for banned substances just last year and spends more time eating and partying than he does training and fighting. If boxing fans and the sports media seem less than thrilled with the November 4th Heavyweight title fight you now know why.

Final Thoughts

In this writers opinion Wilder vs Ortiz should have gotten the go-ahead from everyone, including the brass at the WBC. Instead fans will be subjected to a farcical match up and one that has the potential to retire Stiverne. 2017 has been the best year boxing has had in a good long while yet even in a year such as this there are bound to be bumps in the road. In closing and in the interest of objectivity...it's entirely possible that Ortiz obtained his blood pressure medications in order to mask other banned substances. It's also possible that the WBC is sending Ortiz to a doctor to determine whether or not he actually needs those medications. Pundits on both sides of this issue have legitimate concerns, especially since Ortiz has been caught cheating before. However in this case I do not see any evidence of cheating nor an attempt to. Remember that correlation doesn't necessarily imply causation.

I swear this over-the-hill racquetball player isn't masking anything! Oh...and my doctor strongly encouraged regular and vigorous exercise while she was writing this prescription out. Food for thought.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

My Guest Appearance On The BDA Boxing Podcast

Another week and another appearance on the BDA boxing podcast. We talked Eubank Jr. vs Yildrim, the World Boxing Super Series, Deontay Wilder and several other boxing topics. Lots of fun. I come in at 19:40. Be sure to follow BDA on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel!

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Please Support Split D Boxing On Patreon!

Yes, that time has come! In an effort to help grow the Split D Boxing network we are humbly asking our readers and followers to support our endeavors. With your support we will gain the ability to not only cover more fights live but we will be able to take our plans for podcasting and video production from blueprint to reality. Moreover, we have a number of lofty goals and additional plans for content in the works here at Split D Boxing but they are currently mired and stymied by financial barriers. With support from our audience, those that run Split D Boxing can dedicate more of their time to the network and place a heavier focus/emphasis on producing content and delivering unbiased agenda-free boxing content and coverage.

By supporting Split D Boxing through Patreon you are not only helping us in smashing through the aforementioned barriers but you are also entering yourself into drawings for giveaways and many other types of rewards/prizes. All levels of support are immensely appreciated and help. Thank you and enjoy the fights! Be sure to visit our Patreon page for all the details!

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com. You can also support Split D Boxing on Patreon!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Heavyweight Luis Ortiz Tests Positive For Banned Substance

From my Twitter timeline.
At the time of this writing (10:24 pm PDT) WBC Heavyweight title holder Deontay Wilder and WBC ranked #2 contender Luis Ortiz are still scheduled to square off on November 4th, 2017. Come tomorrow morning however expect the fight to have been cancelled. Why you ask? Well, tonight at 9:37 pm WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman took to Twitter to announce to the boxing world that Luis Ortiz had tested positive for a banned substance under his organization's "Clean Boxing Program" which is run by VADA, an independent anti-doping agency and the most thorough outfit in the sport. As of yet there has been no mention of exactly what substance the Cuban boxer tested positive for nor the amount found in his system but fans and media likely won't have to wait too long for that information.

Photo: cdn.vox-cdn.com
Sadly this is familiar territory for the Tuscaloosa native and his fans. Last year, on May 21st to be exact, Deontay Wilder was scheduled to defend the WBC heavyweight crown against Russia's Alexander Povetkin but the fight was called off when Povetkin tested positive for meldonium. Povetkin's "B sample" was later tested which did nothing for Povetkin, only adding verity to the findings of the test that had preceded it. Frustrated fans derided both the positive tests and the cancellation of the fight as Povetkin would have been Wilder's toughest test to date. Boxing fans are now faced with the same scenario they saw a little over a year ago...as is Wilder. Unable to defend against Povetkin, the WBC kingpin went on to fight a completely shot Chris Arreola and despite fighting with just one good hand Wilder forced the badly faded contender to retire on his stool between the 8th and 9th round.

Once Wilder finds out about the details surrounding Ortiz's failed test does he look for a challenger who will face him on short notice? Will this new challenger be anywhere near as dangerous as Ortiz was perceived to be? Might the champion sit the rest of the year out and then look for either a tune up in the spring or perhaps a unification bout against the world's best heavyweight in Anthony Joshua? Furthermore, how does all of this affect the Showtime card that's still set to air on November 4th? For the time being fans can only speculate and ponder these questions as well as where both men go from here.

Is this writer the only one that finds a great deal of irony in "dirty" boxers willingly participating in a program which they know is going to catch them?

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Scott's Guest Spot On The BDA Boxing Podcast - September 30, 2017

I was once again a guest on BDA's boxing podcast. Today we covered a great deal of boxing topics current and old. Had a blast again. Be sure to subscribe to BDA's YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on TwitterFacebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Scott's Guest Appearance On The BDA Podcast: Post Canelo/Golovkin Discussion Panel

I was once again a guest again on BDA's boxing podcast. This time we talked all things Canelo/Golovkin and discussed several other boxing related topics. This show was especially spirited and fun given the controversy surrounding last night's fight. Be sure to subscribe to and follow BDA on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel. Good stuff. Thanks for having me again.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on TwitterFacebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Canelo vs Golovkin - Breakdown, Analysis, And Prediction

Middleweight Supremacy

Photo: worldboxingnews.net
The night of Saturday September 16th, 2017 is the night boxing fans have been salivating over ever since Canelo Alvarez exclaimed, "Golovkin, you are next my friend" just moments after he defeated Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr. back in May of this year. The battle for Middleweight supremacy is now just mere days away and the general consensus surrounding this fight is that it will likely be a highly competitive bout full of drama. Some fans and experts have had a difficult time picking a winner and have waffled more than once changing their pick, including yours truly. This waffling is almost assuredly due the fact that at first glance it can be somewhat arduous to see past the hype, the hyperbole, and the biases but when one puts the fighters under a microscope choosing a winner becomes much easier. Before we get to any sort of prediction it would be foolhardy not to spend some time looking at each fighter, more specifically their strengths, weaknesses, past performances, resumes, etc.

Who is Saul "Canelo" Alvarez?

Photo: boxrec.com
We'll begin with challenger Saul "Canelo" Alavarez whom currently holds an impressive and respectable 49-1-1 (34KO's) record. Canelo is a counter puncher who naturally prefers to set traps and let his opponents come to him. He'll often employ a rope-a-dope type strategy in hopes that his opponents will let their hands go so that he can land a counter shot and set them up for more meaningful punches. Furthermore Saul has good upper body movement and hand speed which compliments and strengthens his counter punching style. To assert that Canelo does most of his best work from mid range would be an understatement as this is the Mexican's calling card. With a KO ratio of just 67% Canelo isn't the murderous puncher some make him out to be but Canelo hits heavy enough to give his opponents pause and cause for concern. Those Canelo opponents who've had defensive lapses and shortcomings often find themselves down and out on the canvas. Defensively speaking, Canelo not only utilizes his movement to both avoid and roll with his opponents punches but when it's needed, he's also got a nice tight guard as well.

Canelo Alavrez is a very good fighter and one that no fighter of any quality should ever take lightly. There are some glaring issues surrounding the fighter however and it's only right that I include those here as well. For starters, Canelo has awful footwork. It's not the worst in the sport but he is slow, plods around the ring, and will sometimes stand still, especially when he's being offensive. Speaking of offense...when Canelo is standing still he has a bad habit of lunging and reaching with both his jabs and his crosses. He keeps one hand up but while lunging in or reaching he leaves both his chin and abdomen exposed. Thus far no one he's faced as been able to capitalize on this but against Golovkin the first time his open chin or body is checked it may be the last.

Perhaps the most questionable thing about Canelo is his resume. The argument can be made that Canelo is more a product of careful marketing and matchmaking than he is raw talent or skill. In many ways Saul's career plan and trajectory mirror that of the one man to defeat him, one Floyd Mayweather Jr. Canelo has been the beneficiary of normally recessive genes and a very creative and intelligent matchmaking team. Yes, Canelo has fought the likes of the great Shane Mosley, Erislandy Lara, Amir Khan, James Kirkland, among others but everyone seems content in glossing over the fact that all of the aforementioned fighters were either over the hill, vastly overrated, B level fighters, or coming off of long layoffs that included drug use and jail time. Sometimes a boxers name carries more weight than his actual accomplishments do and Canelo's team has played this angle to a hilt. Furthermore Alvarez was made to look questionable by Austin Trout and to a lesser degree Erislandy Lara. These two boxers are arguably 2nd tier fighters on their best nights. For the record I had Canelo eking out a decision against Lara and thought Trout beat him by a round. Many make the argument that Canelo has improved since those fights and he has. He has become a better fighter over time but that doesn't mean he's on Golovkin's level in terms of experience, skill, or ability. It should also give fans and members of the media pause when they stop and consider that Canelo has only once faced elite level competition and that he not only lost but was made to look ordinary when he fought on that stage. Mayweather made Canelo not only look green but showed just how limited Canelo was during that time. None of the opponents he's faced since the Mayweather bout have been the type of fighter to push Saul, to show us if he's got a second gear, a backup plan, or just how much he actually has improved. Instead, the opponents he's faced since losing to Floyd were selected to build a brand, a name, and an aura. Being the draw he is Canelo has always had options when it comes to who he fights yet he always seems to be in against someone who is way past his best or against someone who was never that good to begin with. If you're a Canelo supporter these things should worry you heading into the Golovkin fight.

Who is Gennady Golovkin?

Photo: boxrec.com
Gennady Golovkin otherwise known as "GGG" is not only the Middleweight Champion Of The World, he's one of the best and most dominant middleweight champions in recent history. Some have argued that the only reason why he isn't yet the Undisputed Champion at 160 lbs is due to the political landscapes within the sport. That said he holds 3 of the 4 major titles in his division and is the most avoided fighter in the sport today. With an undefeated record of 37-0-0 (33 KO's) Golovkin carries a versatile and deadly arsenal into the ring with him. This arsenal consists of ramrod style jabs, devastating hooks that find their way around high guards, lethal uppercuts, and bodywork that's put more than a few of opponents away; his left hook to the body dropping and stopping a number of opponents. Golovkin's defense is overlooked primarily because of his devastating power and highly effective offense but the truth of the matter is that he does a great deal of small things defensively that are easy to miss. Not only does his defense stop punches from reaching his face and body but they are capable of disrupting his opponents offense as well. GGG picks shots off with his gloves and arms, uses superior footwork to ensure he's not in range of punches, and has shown that he has an iron chin as well. Golovkin puts a relentless pressure on his opponents and rarely stops coming forward, throwing punches almost the entire time. Like Canelo, GGG does his most impressive and destructive work from the mid range and is careful to never smother his own work. Making matters worse for his opponents, he's also an economic puncher with high accuracy. His ability to cut off the ring and shift are second to none and put him or leave him in positions to strike and befuddle his opponents.

On paper Golovkin looks and sounds unstoppable but the cold truth is that no boxer is unbeatable. The right time, the right opponent, the wrong style, and bad timing have all felled many a great fighter. Golovkin's high pressure style and emphasis on offense means that the champion is often there to be hit. There is great risk in fighting the way GGG does and the right punch at the wrong time could turn the tide of or even end one of his fights. Although some pundits cite a lack of conditioning or gassing in his fights, don't put too much stock into such claims. Gennady has shown that even when he's breathing heavy he remains the effective aggressor and a menace to his opponents. Some defensive liabilities aside Golovkin's biggest downfall may be his age. Although he's not an old fighter, especially by today's standards, he is 35 years old. He's also not as active as he once was having become a twice a year fighter; not exactly ideal for an aging pugilist. Furthermore, Golovkin critics are quick to assert he looked sloppy or showed signs of slipping against Kell Brook. While it's true that Brook wasn't an easy out, Golovkin broke Brook's body and obliterated his orbital bone in a fight in which he won all but 1 round. Don't be fooled by the anti-Golovkin rhetoric nor those fans who don't know the sport as well as they'd like to think they do. Even in a less than spectacular performance against Danny Jacobs last spring, Golovkin not only dominated the fight while looking less than himself but he won the fight using mainly his jab, knocking Danny down once in the process. There is then the issue of the rumored neck injury Golovkin sustained in the Jacobs fight. Rumors are indeed hearsay and there is no evidence of an injury but if there's any truth to this one, one has to wonder not only how serious the injury was but how it might have affected Golovkin's weight, training, and ability.

Two Years In The Making

Photo: i.imgflip.com
Canelo vs Golovkin has been the fight to make in boxing for the better part of 2 years. En route to this Saturday it's important to remember that Canelo did everything he could to avoid this fight over the course of the last two years and GGG and his team did everything they could to make it happen. Some might want to be dismissive of Canelo's voluntary relinquishing of the WBC middleweight title so that he could drop down a weight class and fight a hand picked opponent instead of Golovkin. These same people might also conveniently forget that Alvarez paid Golovkin step aside money on more than one occasion so that he could fight less dangerous albeit more lucrative opposition. They will also gloss over that Canelo fought at a catch weight of 164.5 lbs against a badly faded and overrated Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr. It's dishonest to overlook these facts and they're very important when remembering that Canelo has always been the fighter with options while GGG has had to settle for whomever he could get. The actions of both camps/fighters speaks volumes about their confidence in this matchup.

After looking human against Jacobs however, team Canelo must have seen something in Golvokin that gave them confidence enough to move forward with this fight. Canelo didn't vacate titles and move up and down in weight to help "marinate" this fight. Sure there's huge money to be made in a fight of this magnitude but the Golden Boy brass knew exactly what they were doing in waiting 2 years or at the very least they believe they have.

In the two years since Canelo defeated Miguel Cotto he has been involved in a handful of mismatches against 2nd tier and fatally flawed opponents. He's fought no one that could have possibly prepared him for Gennady Golovkin, not even a faded version of the champion. To that extent, Canelo hasn't even fought at the middleweight limit...not once. He's never fought against nor defeated a true middleweight and this writer would argue he's never beaten a single opponent at their best...in any weight class.

Conversely, Gennady Golovkin and the team behind him have done everything they can to chase and make fights with the biggest names and title holders at 160 lbs. It's not as though fighters have been lining up nor chomping at the bit to get a piece of the Karaganda native. Golovkin may not have gotten the fights he's wanted but he has fought and defeated both David Lemiuex and Danny Jacobs whom are number 2 and 3 at Middleweight respectively. Canelo doesn't have any wins on his record that are nearly as prestigious as these two nor has he faced the type of punchers Golovkin has. What has Saul Alvarez done at any point in his career that shows us he can hang with or even defeat someone on Golovkin's level? Something to mull over and keep in mind as we head towards September 16th.

Canelo Keys To Victory

Photo: bleacherreport.net
Canelo's bread and butter is his counter offense but against someone with the accuracy, tenacity, fortitude, and power of Golovkin, Canelo is going to have to find a way to do more than simply wait for his man to come in and be countered. Being the second man to throw when facing Golovkin is a dangerous and risky thing indeed. Against Golovkin Canelo is going to want and need to be first, much in the same way Mikey Garcia was against Adrien Broner. Canelo will need to employ an effective strike first type of offense that makes it difficult for Golovkin to set anything up. Canelo will need to use his jab effectively to set up heavy hooks to GGG's body as well. Golovkin is a master of angles and positioning and Alvarez is going to have to find a way to move despite being a rather flat footed fighter. Saul's known for having excellent upper body movement and on Saturday he'll need to use that movement with a strong offense to help draw his bigger, stronger opponent in. Golovkin is the more accomplished, skilled, and decorated boxer in this fight so it would be foolish for Canelo to try and outbox Golovkin. Canelo must strike first and hard from the first bell until the final bell if he wants to pull off the upset.

Golovkin Keys To Victory

Photo: bleacherreport.net
Gennady Golovkin uses relentless pressure, power, and solid fundamentals to batter his opponents either into submission or unconsciousness. Against the younger and fresher Canelo, the champion will need to box effectively from the mid and outer ranges using his excellent jab, much like he did against Danny Jacobs and David Lemiuex. Golovkin's jab is the key to his success in this fight and the punch from which all power punches need to flow. If GGG comes forward with power shots only or tries to make it a street fight as he did against Brook, Canelo will find plenty of opportunities for strong counter shots that will score big if not hurt Golovkin. Moreover, Golovkin needs to keep his work rate and pressure high but be extremely measured, precise, and patient in his attack. Golovkin will also want to use his superior footwork and shifting to surprise and lay traps for Canelo.

How It Plays Out

Although I favor Golovkin in this fight I believe Canelo Alvarez wins the early rounds or at the very least, is very competitive in the early going. Expect Golovkin to spend the first 3-4 rounds of the fight figuring out Canelo's timing and Canelo to be the aggressor. The meaningful body shots Canelo will land in the opening rounds will send the crowd into a frenzy and cause Golovkin fans to sweat a bit. After round 4 however Golovkin will up the pressure, the work rate, and begin timing his ginger foe. As the pressure and number of punches increases Canelo starts fighting off the backfoot and falls back into his rope-a-dope routine. From here Golovkin will begin hurting Saul both to the head and the body. After a sustained beating, Golovkin catches Canelo with something big and sends him to the canvas once or twice before stopping him in round 8 or 9.

Originally I was picking Canelo to win a decision but after critically examining both fighters away from all of the hype and the promotion I was forced to change my pick.

Winner: Gennady Golovkin by TKO 8-9

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on TwitterFacebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Live On The BDA Boxing Podcast: Various Boxing Topics

I was live with on BDA's post Cotto/Kamegai-Mayweather/McGregor podcast today. We spent nearly 4 hours talking all things boxing, especially Canelo/Golovkin. Check it out and be sure to follow both BDA Boxing and @57Vic over on Twitter.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on TwitterFacebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Boxing History And Lore: From The Trenches At Cotto-Kamegai

My First Live Boxing Experience

Leaving for the StubHub Center
Last Saturday night in front of a sell out crowd at the StubHub Center in Carson, California, I watched Miguel Cotto out box, out land, and out bludgeon the tough as nails Yoshihiro Kamegai. I was also in attendance for Rey Vargas vs Ronnie Rios and a handful of entertaining off air under card bouts. Although I've been an astute and passionate observer of the sport for 32 years, this was my first live boxing event so to state that I was excited would be an understatement. My decision to attend this particular card was, at least in part, a sort of "fuck you" to the Mayweather/McGregor spectacle that was going down on the same night. I really wanted to throw my support behind a quality boxing event, not some shit-show aimed at the lowest common denominator. Mostly however, I felt that after 32 years of watching from my couch it was simply time to start going to live fights...accept no more excuses.

I made my way out of my house around 12:30 pm and made the nearly 2 hour trek down Interstate 15 to my hotel in Buena Park.  While checking into my hotel room I was contacted via Twitter by one of my readers/followers. This person asked if I had already arrived at the venue and since I made this trip alone his message pushed my anticipation to new heights. Prior to receiving his message I had acquiesced to the idea of watching the card alone and in silence from my seat. Knowing that there was someone waiting with whom I could talk boxing and share the experience however helped push me out of my hotel room, back into my car, and another 20 minutes down the 91 freeway to the StubHub Center.

My ticket
Upon arriving at the StubHub Center I found myself somewhat emotionally overwhelmed. At 44 years of age this doesn't happen very often so I was caught off guard by just how excited I was. Had any of my readers been in the car with me as I prepared to exit for the gate they would have sworn we were there to watch Canelo/Golovkin or that we had gone back in time to watch a prime Mike Tyson knock out Michael Spinks. After collecting myself a bit and liberally applying some sunscreen to my face and arms I set out to find the person whom had contacted me earlier. Being completely and utterly unfamiliar with the venue, we were unable to find one another. After a solid 20 minutes of searching for this person, I received another message from him suggesting we simplify things by meeting inside at either his seat or mine at a later time.

The LA Galaxy plays here...
Boxing's on the tennis court
After agreeing to this, I set off towards the main gate, entered, and began exploring the venue. Steve Kim of the Undisputed Champion Network and others have oft proclaimed this venue to be one of the best in which fans can take in boxing. When considering the opinions of others one must take into account the hyperbole that often accompanies the vocalizing of said opinions but in this case Steve and everyone else who has made this declaration are onto something. Having no other venue to compare it to, I can not remain intellectually honest and assert that they are correct in their assessment of the venue but the StubHub Center is a great venue nonetheless. Not only is it easy to navigate but every seat in the house is fantastic. There is no nosebleed section, no obstructed views, no need for giant television screens, and the atmosphere there was fantastic on this particular night. The only criticism I can levy against StubHub is it's lack of shading for it's audience. Although I had a great seat I spent 5 hours sweating to death while the sun beat down on my fair skin. Relief came only as the televised portion of the show began. I might have been more upset by this had the venue not placed gargantuan fans that blew cool water through their grates next to all of its restrooms and food/beverage vendors. I made use of these every 20 minutes or so.

My view from Section 9 Row D
Not bad...not bad
I spent nearly 45 minutes wandering the StubHub Center stopping several times to watch a couple of the preliminary fights from the top of the venue and take some pictures. I also stopped to talk about Canelo/Golovkin with several fans of both fighters. After fulfilling my wanderlust, I set out to find my seat. As I mentioned previously, the place is extremely easy to navigate so this took very little time. I was pleasantly surprised at how close my seat was to the ring and how easy it was to see the action within it.

Upon finding my seat I was greeted by two brothers sitting to my left. The pair was friendly and we spent the better part of the next 30 minutes talking boxing in general and about the card we were about to watch. After the brothers left for a restroom/refreshment break I received a message from the reader who had wanted to meet up with me earlier. He was in the venue and sent me a screenshot of his ticket. In an ironic twist of fate it turned out that he was seated right next to me in seat 2. I left my seat and met "Donald R. DeCicco" in front of our section's concession stand. Donald and I spent some time talking boxing, got some snacks/drinks, and then rediscovered our seats.

Nick and I talking some boxing
while we roast in the summer sun
By the time "Donald" and I returned to our seats there were some pretty solid under card fights taking place. Although this was my first live event and I had expected to keep my eyes glued to the ring, I spent the overwhelming majority of time taking about the sport with the people sitting next to and around me. Even those with whom I disagreed with were friendly and in good spirits which was a refreshing change to some of the people I've encountered at sports bars over the years. I can not say whether it was the fight card, the venue, a proud counter reaction to the fight in Vegas, or if the StubHub was just unusually filled with happy people but the vibe was there was positive and festive. Prior to attending this card, I had never been in a place where I was surrounded by thousands of people who love the same thing I do. Talk about awesome...

Meet And Greet

Me with Jesus Soto Karass
In between several of the off air fights I noticed that a number of professional boxers were making their way through the audience for what appeared to be meet and greets. Not wanting to be looked upon as an annoyance, I let most pass without so much as a "hey what's up" but when Jesus Soto Karass stopped by my section I asked for a picture. Karass appeared the most friendly of the bunch and he was more than happy to oblige my request. He spent a couple of minutes talking with me before he made his way back towards his ringside seat.

Meeting My Inspiration

Michael Montero and I with..
the "Finger To Nowhere"
There are four persons whom inspire me to write about boxing. These people are Steve Kim, Kenny Keith and Vince Cummings of The Boxing Rant, and of course Michael Montero. While all of these people help push me forward it is Michael Montero's work that motivates and inspires me the most. Having ingested his videos and articles, I've come to trust and respect his opinions when it comes to boxing. After admiring his work for so many years, it was a real thrill when he took time out of his busy schedule to meet with me over near my seat. Mike was personable, friendly, willing to talk a bit, made me feel like a dwarf (I'm 5'6), and had a great sense of humor. Thanks again for taking the time to meet up with me Mike!

The Main Event

Yours truly expected a little more from Kamegai though don't let that fool you into thinking his effort was lackluster. The former Japanese super lightweight title holder came forward and pushed the action from the opening bell right up until the final bell. Miguel Cotto however was faster, had far better footwork and body movement, landed the more effective punches, and had the better skill set. Each of the twelve rounds were near carbon copies of one another. Kamegai would charge toward Cotto before falling in and smothering his own work. When he did manage to get inside Kamegai either let loose a barrage of largely ineffective punches or he absorbed a great deal of punishment. Miguel Cotto hit his opponent with sharp, thudding, and accurate punches from start to finish. A large number of these hooks and straights violently snapped Kamegai's head back and to the side. Several other power shots from Cotto sent the over matched and outclassed Kamegai stumbling backwards, sometimes in exaggerated fashion. These moments drew "ooo's and ah's" from those in attendance but Cotto never pushed to get his man out of there.

No matter how much punishment Cotto dished out, Kamegai kept coming forward in his usual Kamikaze fashion, though as the fight wore on he did so throwing fewer and fewer punches and seemed unable to prevent himself from smothering his own work or at least the opportunity for inside work. Kamegai went from working on the inside to running right at his more fluid opponent, falling in, and then holding/grappling. If Cotto wanted the knock out you wouldn't have known it thanks to Kamegai having an unbreakable chin. The fight was a competitive but one sided affair that ended in a unanimous decision win for Miguel Cotto. Kamegai isn't the most skilled boxer on the planet but if stamina and resiliency were all it took to win titles, Kamegai would be the undisputed champion of boxing.

Cotto/Kamegai Fighter Introductions

I'll Be Back...

Exhausted, hungry, thirsty, and wanting to sit in a hot bath back in my hotel room I left the StubHub Center just as Max Kellerman concluded his post fight interview with Miguel Cotto. The entire experience was amazingly awesome if not a bit surreal and overwhelming. As I walked out to my car my thoughts immediately turned toward September 9th's "Superfly" fight card. If the atmosphere and vibe were this great for a middle of the road card featuring a guy at the tail end of his retirement tour then Superfly is going to be something indescribable. I will be returning to the StubHub Center for what is essentially the K2 Promotions portion of the Canelo/Golovkin undercar on the 9th of September. Additionally some of the people I met at the Cotto/Kamegai card are returning for Superfly. I'm not only looking forward to seeing these people again but meeting a couple of new faces as well. September 9th can't get here soon enough.

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on TwitterFacebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Miguel Cotto vs Yoshihiro Kamegai - Analysis, Breakdown, And Prediction

32 Years A Fan And Never Once...

Photo: ringtv.com
My obsession with boxing began 15 days before my 12th birthday. It was on this day that the then undisputed middleweight champion Marvin Hagler would go on to knock out Detroit's Tommy Hearns in round 3 of of the best fights of all time. At the time I lived alone with my father, a man whom epitomized boxing fandom. Additionally, he always favored boxers more than he did guys whom could punch and so naturally he was insistent that Hearns would outbox the Marvelous One and win a decision.

This wasn't the first boxing match I'd ever seen mind you. My Grandfather and two uncles watched regularly throughout the 70's and early 80's but this was the first fight I watched with interest, having gotten caught up in my father's pre-fight hype. After watching the fight I found myself enthralled with the way both men fought and with how the fight abruptly and violently ended. I began watching boxing every weekend with my dad after that and then co-workers and friends after I came of age. In the 32 years since that fight my passion for the sport has never once wavered or waned. In fact I would argue that my passion for boxing has never been bigger than it is right now. I'm the type of fan that makes boxing a priority and will schedule his life around the sport, so why then have I never once been to a single live event? Be it school, work, girlfriends, cash shortages, being a musician, and then later a wife and six kids, there's always been some something standing in between me and attending a live boxing event.

Miguel Cotto vs Yoshihiro Kamegai

After watching from my couch, bed, countless sports bars, and of course my phone, computer, and tablet for 32 years, I'm finally attending my first live boxing event! This Saturday August 26th, Puerto Rico's Miguel Cotto and Japan's Yoshihiro Kamegai are set to square off in what should be an exciting match up at the StubHub Center in Carson California. Cotto looks to continue his winning ways since joining forces with Freddie Roach while Kamegai looks to disrupt Cotto's retirement tour. Make no mistake about it, Miguel Cotto is favored to win the fight and rightfully so but Kamegai is a guy who comes to fight and isn't content in simply showing up so that he can collect a paycheck. I don't know anyone whom is favoring Kamegai but make no mistake...he is a live dog in this one and it should be an solid entertaining scrap.

Making this bout even more intriguing is the fact that both fighters are coming off lengthy stretches of inactivity. The last time Kamegai stepped into the ring he did so in a rematch against Jesus Soto Karass and that was back on September 9th of 2016. Kamegai is no spring chicken and will enter the ring being just a couple of months shy of his 35th birthday. Age plus inactivity has felled many a boxer and fans should expect both to be a factor on the 26th. Adding some weight to this, Miguel Cotto hasn't fought since losing to "Canelo" Alvarez back on November 21st 2015. At nearly 37 years old and spending close to 2 years out of the ring, inactivity could be Cotto's Achilles heel. It's important to remember that in his losing effort against Alvarez the future hall of famer looked timid, tired, and at times unable or unwilling to pull the trigger.

Those unfamiliar with Yoshirhiro Kamegai's work will need to know that he employs a predatory style and that he is at his best when fighting on the inside. He has a savage short game that can break his opponents body down and leave them open for much bigger and damaging shots. He's a relentless stalker with a high work rate and an uncommon tenacity. Whereas Kamegai has just one gear (forward) and is somewhat one dimensional, Miguel Cotto makes use of a much more educated style and has the better ring IQ in this fight. After being bloodied, bludgeoned, and thoroughly beaten by Antonio Margarito in the summer of 2008, Cotto adopted a more defensive and cautious fighting style; a style that never suited him or did him any favors by the way. After coming under the tutelage of Freddie Roach in 2013 however, Cotto rediscovered himself and reinstituted his original style. One could make the argument that much of Cotto's success while with Roach is due, at least in part, to careful matchmaking and catchweights but Cotto still shows flashes of brilliance when he employs his craft. Whether it's his body work, heavy hands, quickness of foot and hand, or his ability to move, Miguel Cotto isn't going to be an easy out for anyone...even at this age and after the war's he's endured.

Yoshihiro Kamegai Keys To Victory

Golden Boy Promotions
Something tells yours truly that Miguel Cotto isn't going to give up the inside real estate that Kamegai will be looking for, neither willingly nor easily. Kamegai will need to break Cotto's body down with his fierce low hooks in order to slow Cotto down and keep him from moving away. If Kamegai can not catch Cotto the fight could be a 12 round game of cat and mouse but if he's able to slow his man down, it could spell trouble for Cotto. Though he's rather flat footed and plodding, Kamegai must find a way to cut off the ring and eliminate the majority of Cotto's lateral movement as well. If the Migeul Cotto that faced Canelo shows up Kamegai need only keep his work rate and aggression high and he could pull off the upset. The upset minded Kamegai would also do well to remember that when hurt, the normally offensive minded Cotto will begin running and fighting off the backfoot. Getting Cotto's respect and hurting him early is key to a Kamegai win.

Miguel Cotto Keys To Victory

Golden Boy Promotions
Like Kamegai, Miguel Cotto is capable of vicious body work. Given Kamegai's age, style, and inactivity, it would be wise for Cotto to go to the body often, especially in the early rounds of the fight. Taking away Kamegai's legs will more or less leave him without his offense which just also happens to be his defense. Cotto will need to utilize his movement and keep the fight on the outside with a strong jab as well as sharp power shots whenever his opponent attempts to work his way to the inside.

How It Plays Out

Expect the strong willed and seemingly tireless Kamegai to begin the fight exactly as you'd expect a pressure fighter to do. The Hokkaido native will look to impose his will on the aging Cotto and wear him down over the course of the fight. While his KO% is a respectable 75%, Kamegai isn't a power puncher the way a Gennady Golovkin is or Mike Tyson and George Foreman were. Instead he wins wars of attrition and stops his opponents with sheer volume of punches. Miguel Cotto will spend the first 2-3 rounds studying and learning to time Kamegai before he slowly begins taking over and then dominating the later rounds. If this were a pre-Margarito Cotto it'd be easy to pick Cotto by stoppage in the second half of the fight. 2017's Miguel Cotto however may not be willing to risk what it takes to stop someone like Kamegai nor might he have enough left in the tank to do so.

Winner: Miguel Cotto by unanimous decision

Scott Jarvis is a boxing writer for Split D Boxing. He can be reached on Twitter, Facebook, or by email at splitdecisionbox@gmail.com.