Then came Vinnie

Photo courtesy of Team Vinnie Paz

Photo courtesy of Team Vinnie Paz

 

 

Hola, damas y caballeros; I’m back like I never left. It’s been eight months since we’ve last spoken. I spent the better part of 2014 working on a new record, so pardon me for being Captain Incommunicado. That said, let’s go…

 

So,  May 2, huh? Well, as the saying goes, better late than never, right? Look, this is just another example of Floyd Mayweather Jr. being Floyd Mayweather Jr. Real heads know this: He bided his time and the time is now. No, I’m not a Floyd hater. No, I’m not a “Pac-tard.” Once upon a time, I was a HUGE Floyd fan; to a degree, I still am. He was a sight to behold at one time and the same can be said for Manny Pacquiao. I was aware of him but I officially became a fan after the Lehlohonolo Ledwaba fight nearly 14 years ago. Pacquiao was a killer and killers have always been my favorite guys. Are these guys past their primes? Sure, a bit but here’s the thing: You’re STILL getting two top five, pound-for-pound guys fighting. How often does that happen? Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler was a few years late (Hagler won easily) but I was still crazy excited for that fight. Mayweather-Pacquiao is gonna do three million plus PPVs and get plastered all over TV for the next two months. Will casual fans make all of us crazy? OF COURSE. But look, this fight is still great for the sport.

 

How do I see it playing out? Here you go: Pacquiao buttered his bread by being aggressive. That’s not up for debate. Floyd thrives on aggression. Manny is always off-balance when he doesn’t land, which plays right into the hands of one of of the best counter-punchers ever. “Money” will give “Pac-Man” very little to work with. You don’t think Floyd has studied Pac’s foot feint/jab/left hand combo? He has; trust me. It’s been over five years since Pac has slept someone and I’m not prone to think he’s gonna break that slump against a guy who can’t be hit with combinations. Speed kills and although Manny has crazy hand speed, Floyd’s reflexes are second to none. The counter right Floyd LOVES to throw will be there all night. I see this being a “Groundhog Day” of sorts: Pacquiao’s feint/jab/left hand missing, Floyd countering over the top, rinse, repeat. I see Floyd winning 9-3, maybe 8-4, but don’t be surprised if the fight is much closer on the scorecards. After all, a $300 million-plus rematch is at stake.

 

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Philly hasn’t been doing so well. I was at Sergey Kovalev-Bernard Hopkins in Atlantic City and was DEFINITELY the only non-Russian Philadelphian rooting for “Krusher.” Not because I don’t love Bernard but because I’m a huge Krusher fan and I think it’s his time. I will say this: I NEVER thought I’d see “B-Hop hurt” like that. He was on Queer Street, beaten from pillar to post. Naazim Richardson should have stopped that fight but, as we all know, he’s not Bernard’s trainer; he’s Bernard’s hype-man. Richardson’s biggest achievement was discovering Antonio Margarito’s loaded gloves.

 

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Moving on to Danny Garcia: Well, after clearly losing to Mauricio Herrera, the LINEAL JUNIOR WELTERWEIGHT CHAMP OF THE WORLD decides to square off against Rod Salka. Good job, champ; great fight. Way to prove the naysayers wrong. the upcoming Garcia-Lamont Peterson fight is about as interesting as grass growing. Get the fuck outta here.

 

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Gabe Rosado continues to get the dog shit kicked outta him, yet somehow keeps showing up on my TV. Son is the modern-day Michael Myers. He must have incriminating pictures of Al Haymon. Word up.

 

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Garcia and Rosado frustrate me but nowhere NEAR as much as the criticism Gennady Golovkin has been getting. Every one of his opponents are regarded as “his toughest test yet,” Golovkin destroys them, then they become “bums” within minutes. He’s obliterating top 10 middleweights and calling out every big-name fighter on the regular. Peter Quillin? Canelo Alvarez? Miguel Cotto? Daniel Jacobs? He’ll fight them all; none of them will fight him. So do me a favor; drop me a line and explain to me how any of that is his fault. Oh, by the way, “GGG” knocks the dog shit outta ALL of them easy. I think fans have a genuine problem with a baby-faced kid from Kazakhstan knocking the shit out of all these supposed “tough guys.” It’s a tough pill to swallow, I suppose, but one you’re gonna be swallowing for the next few years. Get used to it. The “God of War” isn’t going anywhere.

 

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Speaking of Cotto, his conduct over the past 18-to-24 months has been borderline unprofessional. He beat a shot, no-legged fighter for lineal middleweight championship of the world and got paid $7 million in the process. Is it Cotto’s fault that Sergio Martinez was 50 percent at best? No, not at all; therein lies the problem. What has he done for the last nine months? He refused the Canelo fight and when the prospect of fighting Golovkin, the No. 1 ranked middleweight in the world, was presented to him, his response was, “No organization owns my career, so I will do my part and what I want to do.” The writing is on the wall; he knows GGG will walk through his punches and beat him. Badly. This guy is actually considering Brandon Rios, Timothy Bradley and Cornelius Bundrage as viable options. This is seriously unacceptable. Apparently, Erislandy Lara is in the mix too. I don’t hate that fight and if it happens, I see it playing out similarly to Canelo-Lara (I had it 115-113 for Lara). Keep in mind, none of the aforementioned options are middleweights. It’s time to put up or shut up: Fight the “Good Boy Killer” or vacate and go back to ’54. Nobody likes a diva holding an entire division hostage.

 

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Tomorrow night, championship boxing returns to NBC prime time for the first time since 1985. Adrien Broner has undoubtedly made a name for himself. That name may be the guy with “all sizzle, no steak” but he’s made a name for himself nonetheless. Look, Broner is a natural athlete with very fast hands and John Molina Jr. shouldn’t be a difficult fight for him but this kid seems to like making things harder than they have to be. I’ve seen Broner multiple times at fights and trust me; this kid puts on TONS of weight between fights. Doing that and then having to cut weight leading up to the weigh-in will kill you. Ask Ricky Hatton. Molina is coming off the “2014 Fight of the Year” against Lucas Matthysse, an absolute bloodbath. Molina is all heart and he always leaves everything in the ring. If Broner is taking this fight lightly – and I suspect he is – its gonna be a problem for “The Problem.” Molina can crack and Broner needs to be aware of that when he’s sitting in the pocket. I realize Molina is no Gene Tunney in the counter-punching department but he never stops punching and he can catch you between shots. In fact, that’s exactly what he did to Mickey Bey. I’m going with Broner by unanimous decision but I guarantee you Mr. Molina has different ideas. I think it will be more interesting than expected.

 

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I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that Keith Thurman is the Second Coming of Andre Berto and I’m clearly in the minority there. I routinely get hit with “You’re a hater; Thurman is the man!” tweets. He’s beaten cab drivers, blown-up guys and fighters well past their primes. He has plenty of chinks in his armor that can be exploited. Thurman throws wide, looping shots and his footwork is suspect. I also think his power may be overrated. He’s never been hit by a prime guy who can crack yet I’ve still seen him buzzed a few times. He’s a 4-to-1 underdog tomorrow night but I think Robert Guerrero can beat him. If he stays in Thurman’s chest and makes it ugly, Guerrero can break this kid. He should replicate what he did to Berto. Thurman doesn’t want anything to do with an inside fight. It’s really a test of wills: Can “The Ghost” cut off the ring and get inside on Thurman or can Thurman keep Guerrero on the end of his punches? Fighters with great footwork never have to worry about someone stalking them. If I’m Thurman, I go to the body early and take Guerrero’s legs away. I hate to say this but I think Guerrero wins seven rounds and gets hosed, the old “Al Haymon Special.” I’m also praying NBC doesn’t allow Thurman to speak too much. His prepared, WWE-esque interviews are about as appealing as hearing gunshots come from your parents’ bedroom. Where’s Sandman Sims when you need him? Jokes aside, I’m looking forward to a war.

 

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Well, I guess that’s it. Enjoy the fights; have a good weekend and be safe out there. Thanks for “listening” to a fellow boxing nerd rant. If you hated my little article, please send all hate mail to Steve “K9” Kim. If you enjoyed it, please send all love, money and contraband to me, Vinnie Paz, at vinnie.paz@ucnlive.com.

 

Until next time…

 

 

You can also follow Vinnie at twitter.com/vinnie_paz  and  www.jmthiphop.com.

 

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