May 1st’s Random Boxing Rants: pre-Mayweather-Pacquiao edition

Prediction: Artur Beterbiev is the one to bump off 175lb. champ and ‘one-armed bandit’ Adonis Stevenson, sometime in 2016.


Badou Jack’s upset of Anthony Dirrell is great news for George Groves, who will now enter his mandatory title shot later in the year as the favourite to win.


The WBO 160lb. title quagmire, raging on for almost a year since Peter Quillin vacated due to Al Haymon’s enmity with Jay Z/Beyonce, gets more and more convoluted.

Colour me dubious, but current titleholder Andy Lee, fresh off his draw with an overweight Quillin, now supposedly has an injury that will keep him out of action until the autumn, meaning longtime mandatory Billy Joe Saunders would have to wait until September or October for his title shot.

But will Saunders do the smart thing (if he wants to be world titlist that is, something that’s actually questionable given that he’s already turned down 4 separate title shots) by either waiting on the sidelines for his mandated shot, or taking an easy stay-busy fight for the WBO’s vacant interim trinket?

Nope, because as predicted by yours truly all along, Saunders will instead put it all on the line in a big-money rematch Chris Eubank Jr., pencilled in for June 27th.

Simply put, world title ambitions are a distant second to $$$, one suspects in the eyes of Frank Warren more than anybody.

Wasn’t it only weeks ago that Saunders was blasting Eubank for holding the interim ‘world’ trinket of a different sanctioning body, but now he’s happy to fight for one of his own? Boxing is full of contradictions.

Final point: why would Saunders risk his hard-earned and winnable shot at glory against Lee to fight Eubank in a matchup which he will enter as the underdog?

The Eubank rematch will always be there and will always be worth a lot of money. He’ll look like a genius if he beats Eubank again, but I think the gamble will come up snake eyes.


18 defences and counting for Wladimir Klitschko, after jabbing past his 5th unbeaten contender in his last 6 fights.

Tyson Fury would be a fun next defence & I’m even willing to admit that an admittedly ludicrous Klitschko-Briggs promotion would amuse me.

At 39, Klitschko’s dominance of the divison shows no signs of abating (although, on the evidence of his last two defences, he does look to be past his best days), and the records (25 defences over 11 years and 8 months) of Joe Louis loom ever closer.


Oscar suing Haymon –

It’ll probably end out of court, but wouldn’t it be fun if Haymon had to take the stand to answer for his Ali Act violations?


Andrzej Fonfara really beat up Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

The same knockout fate is likely to meet Brandon Rios also, as he continues to eat himself up in weight and no longer possesses the size/strength advantages which he has relied on for so long.


Now that Julio is out of the picture, if James DeGale loses to Andre Dirrell, who is there for Carl Froch to fight next? Bernard Hopkins, maybe?

The longer he stays out of the ring, the more likely it is retirement that beckons, in my opinion.


Andre Ward-Paul Smith is truly a thing of hilarious beauty, and well done to HBO for rejecting it.

Eddie Hearn has done wonders for the limited Smigga, getting him 3 big fight paydays in a row off the back of 3 meaningless wins over journeymen.


Miguel Cotto-Daniel Geale and Timothy Bradley-Jessie Vargas are also rubbish in my view, but Cotto-Canelo is reportedly agreed upon for the autumn.


For various reasons, chief among them that it’s become too time-consuming, after this Saturday, I will no longer be sharing videos of the weekly fights on this site. I recommend @ThatSimbros on Twitter and for boxing uploads if you can’t catch the fights live.


Similarly, with the exception of my pound for pound list, this site will no longer compile weekly divisional rankings. In recent times, this endeavour (begun at this site’s inception in the 2nd half of 2012) has seemed relatively redundant, especially with the terrific Transnational Boxing Rankings Board out there. 

The TBRB is a collaboration between over 40 boxing journalists & observers of note worldwide, who discuss and implement changes in rankings across the 17 weight classes on a weekly basis.

I am a member and contribute to their ratings updates, which can be viewed at, and I’d encourage anybody who is interested in authoritative and wholly independent divisional ratings to look no further than the TBRB.


Despite these changes to the blog, my occasional ‘original articles’ and ‘random rants’ will continue, as well as the monthly ‘Judging the Judges’ and ‘Scorecards’ segments, and the regular sharing of videos and articles by others on the fight game which I deem interesting.


Mayweather-Pacquiao prediction: Mayweather wins 9 rounds on my card, but the judges score it a lot closer.

I suspect a split decision.

My biggest hope for tomorrow night, when more eyes will be scrutinizing the sport than ever, is that the judges and referee get it right, and things end decisively & without irrevocable controversy.

May the best man win…

9 thoughts on “May 1st’s Random Boxing Rants: pre-Mayweather-Pacquiao edition

  1. Pleased the blog is ongoing and quite understand why you are abbreviating it.

    I anticipate early fireworks fizzling out into a sometimes edgy but mostly technical grind leading to Floyd in a 8-4 or 7-5 decision.

    If he punishes Manny, as I believe him capable of doing, there won’t be room for a rematch. And that will have answered one form of cynicism I am bringing to this one — a certain doubt about the integrity of the outcome.

    Thanks for tip re Force Majeure; looks a treat!

    • The blog is going nowhere 🙂 I greatly appreciate your continued interest and the time you spend every week to peruse it & share your thoughts.

      You’re welcome, Force Majeure is terrific. Given the unheard of amount of money this fight is generating, I think a rematch is possible whatever the outcome.

      Enjoy the fight!!!

  2. Best destination for boxing and arthouse cinema on these internets. 🙂

    OK, down to business. Boxing fans can easily recover now from the megahype, but I’m not sure the outcome won’t harm the sport among casual followers for years.

    They’ve paid through the nose for a taste of Floyd’s arid anti-boxing. Told they were getting the Fight of the Century, they instead saw how a master of risk aversion can suck the oxygen from even the most energetic of combatants, voiding a ring of excitement like a blown airlock in science fiction. The buyer’s remorse over social media was the worst advertising for boxing since Floyd said the media was being too hard on elevator attack specialist Ray Rice.

    He’s too good a negater. Perfection isn’t the highest expression of an art: he was an aesthetic disaster along the lines of Auto-Tune in pop music. I commented online the other day that his retirement will be the best thing for human sport since Deep Blue poked its parallel heads above the chess parapets, coldly revealed that the game of kings is solved, and then was unplugged and stuck in a museum — so that we mortals can carry on in our blundering, beautiful ways.

    GGG in two weeks — that’s the ticket! Kovalev, Thurman, Crawford, Lee, Wladimir, even raw young Eubank Jr. Manny, if his heart is still in it after this. Anyone but.

    • Haha boxing and arthouse cinema — quite a combo.

      Despite social media complaints from casuals, I don’t see how the most lucrative megafight in the sport’s history could do anything but good for boxing. Lots and lots of eyes were on boxing, and if even a fraction tune in to GGG and Canelo in the next couple of weeks, then the sport is winning. Most of the casuals who say ‘fuck boxing’ on May 3rd after spending $100 and not getting what they naively expected (when was Floyd in anything but a pure boxing match?) will be back for the next 2m+ PPV. That’s the morbid fascination of this sport and why it will always have a place at sports’ top table, if only for a night or two each year.

      The reaction wouldn’t be half as negative if Pacquiao had won the fight in the exact same manner. What gets to many people is less the lack of action than the ease with which Mayweather beat the guy who people believed for 5 long years was the man to take him down.

      Also, can you imagine the earth-shattering hate Mayweather would receive had he been the one widely outpointed, only to claim he won, while blaming his lack of effectiveness on a shoulder injury? It’s laughable and the usually-humble Pacquiao’s excuse-making came off very badly.

      As for Mayweather’s performance itself, it may have been undramatic, but it was brilliant. He out-threw Pacquiao (who had his lowest output ever) and outlanded him by nearly 2:1. Pacquiao landed 81 punches in the entire fight, and he once landed 64 in a single round against Margarito.

      It was up to Pacquiao to take Mayweather out of his comfort zone and he could never do it. When Pacquiao had some success, Mayweather would adjust immediately, often taking centre ring and pushing Pacquiao back. Of course, the Filipino can’t fight going backwards and his lack of versatility in comparison to Mayweather was glaring. The fight played out exactly as I’d expected it to, with Pacquiao eventually fighting more and more in straight lines & walking into counters as the fight wore on. His wry smile after round one was telling: it was only then that he realized the size of the task.

      Whatever anybody, casual or hardcore observer, thinks of the excitement factor of this fight or Mayweather’s career as a whole, he’s now the undisputed king of his era and his legacy is cemented…And it wasn’t even close — the gap between #1 and #2 was damn wide.

      We all hope the next transcendent superstar of boxing is more Tyson/Leonard than Mayweather, but, as a boxing purist, I’ll miss his skills when he’s gone. I enjoyed the Deep Blue analogy!

      Prediction: Crawford beats Pacman in 2016/17 in a Top Rank passing of the torch.

      • Enjoyed your defense of PBF. For my money, you put it much better than Andreas Hale did.

        I can name a couple of Floyd fights I enjoyed: the destruction of Diego Corrales in 2001 and of JMM in 2009. When he came out of the shell a lot more in the first half of his career, he produced some dazzling wins.

        It’s the way he’s found to win in recent years that I find appalling. He has inverted boxing, made it primarily a non-contact sport. The Houdini act is eye-popping when seen on a YouTube reel with a thumping hiphop beat behind those evasions. Round after round, in real time, punctuated by potshots? Not so much.

        This is why I say his having the greatest shoulder roll in the sport is an aesthetic disaster. No one would argue against, say, the sheer technical brilliance of Steven Spielberg — even Kubrick admired it in the maestro of marooned aliens and bad-ass sharks.

        But the perfection of Spielberg’s trite, empty narrative form moves no cineaste to argue that he is the greatest film artist of our time. If Floyd being impossible to beat makes him the greatest of our time, who can argue with the numbers? But equally, as with Spielberg, who can love it, let alone wish that all fighters were as evasive as Floyd?

        We must hope when he goes away, he doesn’t teach anyone else to fight like he does. Someone who could have pulled it off: RJJ had the same freakish athleticism and acute relays between instinct and muscle. His style, though, was ten times more interesting. Next to Jones, Mayweather feels like ET playing on the next screen over from A Clockwork Orange. We all know ET did better box office.

      • Thanks. Mayweather is a bastard, and he’s boring if what you’re looking for is action rather than pure boxing skills & an emphasis on incredible defence, but he is undeniably great. I enjoy watching him fight, although I respect your POV and might not feel the same way if it cost me $90-100.

        Lol @ “the maestro of marooned aliens and bad-ass sharks” — is it bad that I own a pair of Jaws and ET mugs? No TMT hat though haha

        The Mayweather/RJJ comparison is interesting. Mayweather learned from the mistakes of Jones’ career and may well retire with the undefeated mark that Jones could/should have also claimed.

        Btw, for better or worse, I predict a May-Pac rematch materializes next year. Completely unnecessary from a sporting or competitiveness standpoint, but still the most lucrative fight in the sport and potentially #2 all-time.

        The first fight is currently projected to top 5m buys, more than doubling all financial records. Mayweather will look in the mirror and feel he’s some kind of genius for denying the public this fight for so long, thus incrementally raising the interest to such a heady height.

  3. “…is it bad that I own a pair of Jaws and ET mugs? No TMT hat though haha”

    Ha ha! If so, I’m in trouble for still having my original Batman TV series cup.

    You’re surely right about a rematch. Even if I did long for it, the truth is I bear him no ill will. I’d rather see Floyd escape the game without harm. Let him drive his Bugatti Veyron into a sunset the color of a hooker’s rash, and leave us to our sport where boxers hit each other!

    Happily, exciting stuff is taking place in other rings. Great boxing week just past and the one ahead looks fine too.

    • Haha, that makes us even so

      Floyd is living every boxer’s dream: hardly getting hit and making 9 figure paydays. As much of a cretin as he is in his personal life, I’d rather see him retire after #50 & not end up like Roy Jones or Holyfield.

      Canelo-Kirkland produced surely the KO of the year. Don’t know if you saw Buglioni-Markham, but that was a contender for British FOTY, the popular Buglioni getting a gift from the judges to escape with a draw. Figueroa-Burns on CBS was also fun, if marred by some terrible Texas officiating and judging.

      GGG should be fun as always, even in stay-busy mode, and the HBO debut of ‘Chocolatito’ Gonzalez is long overdue.

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