Posts Tagged ‘Boxing’

I’ve covered and attended just about every sport possible.

And I can tell you there is still nothing like Fight Night in Las Vegas. Back in the day, when I was covering the beat regularly, it was the heavyweights that dominated the neon lights on Las Vegas Boulevard.

Now, Floyd Mayweather electrifies Sin City like no other.

Tonight in my own backyard, at the MGM Grand Garden, Mayweather returns to the ring to take on Robert Guerrero. And though in any other sport I’d never advise laying a price like this, understand THIS is Boxing, and you lay a price with the smart fighter when need be. Pretty Boy Floyd originally opened up as high as -900 at most places, but due to the media hype on Guerrero, the line has come down thanks to the SUCKER SQUARE BETTORS playing the underdog.

I have it on good authority the wiseguys and sharps are playing Floyd Mayweather tonight, and they should.

I know he is 36 years old, and I know there are some who like to believe he has ring rust, but you have to understand the man you’re dealing with here. Forbes magazine recently named Mayweather the highest-paid athlete overall. You know why? Cause he hand picks his opponents, and manages himself better than anyone else. He’s as shrewd a businessman as he is a tactician in the ring.

“I’m in the sport to go down as the best and I’m not going into a fight thinking I’m beatable,” Mayweather said this past week.

Exactly.

Don’t think for a moment he’s lost his edge at 36, not when he has Floyd Sr,. and uncle Roger training him. I’ve been to Floyd’s facility, and I’ve seen the workouts he puts in. I’ve watched him fight in person, and I’ve listened to him speak.

Mayweather has at least five good fights left in him. Guerrero, he’s good. But he ain’t Mayweather good. I don’t care what the so-called experts say. Far as I’m concerned, these guys have done a damn good job as shills for Golden Boy Promotions, in saying Guerrero is the best shot at beating the Money Team.

Guerrero has appeared nervous all week, if you ask me. Call it nervous energy if you like, call it what you want, I don’t think he believes he’s as ready as he says he is, and is more apprehensive than you might think.

Guerrero’s father didn’t do his kid any favors this past week, either, shooting off his mouth at a press conference by repeatedly shouting ‘woman-beater’ in reference to Mayweather’s reason for incarceration last year. Trust me, kid Guerrero looked uncomfortable as his father went off, and it added pressure to the 30-year-old southpaw.

Whether he was trying to sell tickets or Pay-Per-View buys, or sincerely thinks his son is “gonna beat that woman beater down,” I enjoyed seeing Mayweather’s coy smile while he sat on his smart phone during the diatribe.

Calmly, during an interview on CBSSportsNet afterward, Mayweather said he had nothing to say about the tirade, as he is an older and wiser man, and would let his fighting do the talking in the ring.

“I try not to worry about that, I go out there and do what I got to do,” Mayweather said. “That’s keep my composure, box and listen to the game plan. It’s been a long and very comfortable camp. I’m happy and I’m pretty sure my team is happy.”

Hey, I’m happy. Floyd Mayweather is back in the ring in my hometown, and I get to watch it with my son.

And once that bell rings, you can forget about the calm, older, wiser Mayweather, as I completely expect to see that Money Team, bad-boy persona that has kept him undefeated in 43 fights.

I’m laying the money with The Money Team, as I like Floyd to win this bout.

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I doubt the promoters of Saturday’s big Showtime PPV card at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, pitting Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Robert Guerrero, are ready to add another fight to the card on short notice; but the fathers of both fighters wouldn’t mind stepping in the ring against one another.

Ruben Guerrero lit things up during a rather boring press conference, littering Mayweather’s dirty laundry across the dais, while defending his son.

“We’re going to beat up that woman beater, the one that beat up his wife; his wife in front of his kids,” said Guerrero. “You guys like that shit, you like this guy, a woman beater? He must have learned that from his dad. A woman beater baby, we’re going to beat that woman beater see how he’s gonna like it, he’s gonna get it from a real man.

At this point promoter Oscar De La Hoya put his hand on Guerrero and tried to calm him down, and took his place at the podium to diffuse the situation.

Walking away, Guerrero continued: “Damn woman beaters. We’re gonna beat that woman beater down. You guys hear me… beat up his wife in front of his kids. Nah, that’s bullshit baby… he talks about my son, he’s a hypocrite.

“How about him, woman beater! He beats up women and goes to jail.”

Mayweather eventually made his way to the podium, and didn’t acknowledge the tirade, simply thanking everyone and saying he was expecting a good fight on Saturday but he was ready.

In an interview on CBSSportsNet afterward, though, Mayweather did say: “My thing is, I’m a lot older and I’m a lot wiser. … If I did or didn’t do a crime, I served the time. And it’s about being classy. I was wild when I was younger.

“I try not to worry about that, I go out there and do what I got to do. That’s keep my composure, box and listen to the game plan.”

Mayweather said he enjoyed getting back to training with his father Floyd Sr., and his uncle Roger.

“It’s been a long and very comfortable camp,” Mayweather said. “I’m happy and I’m pretty sure my team is happy.”

At this point in the interview, there was a disruption in the middle of the dais, where both fathers were jawing at one another and had to be separated.

“It’s not about the fathers fighting,” Mayweather said laughingly.

But if both Pops had their way, they probably wouldn’t mind stepping in the ring.

Mike Alvarado is catching plenty of value at +350 in his Saturday night bout against Brandon Rios, who won the first match in October of last year.

Mike Alvarado is catching plenty of value at +350 in his Saturday night bout against Brandon Rios, who won the first match in October of last year. PHOTO: W.G. Ramirez

LAS VEGAS — Mike Alvarado will defeat Brandon Rios in their rematch of last year’s epic battle in October.

In their Oct. 13 bout last year, judges Max Deluca and Zach Young had the fight scored even, 57-57, while judge James Jen Kin had it 58-56 for Rios, whose crushing right hand changed the complexion of a fight that had gone back and forth the entire bout. Rios’ onslaught was relentless enough for referee Pat Russell to step in and stop the fight at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the seventh round.

Here we are less than six months later and the two will step in the ring at approximately 8 p.m. inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center, and yes, I’m taking the underdog to be victorious in the second of what could end being another great trilogy in boxing.

I’ve been to just about every media event, spoken with both fighters, chatted it up with media sorts and Top Rank and HBO executives. And let me be clear – not one other person I’ve spoken to is picking Alvarado to win this fight.

Everyone I’ve shared conversation with says Rios wins again.

Personally, I say be careful where you’re laying your money tonight. Of course, as close as the first fight was, it’s only smart to have something on an underdog as big as Alvarado. Rios was installed as high as 5-to-1, and has settled back at -450 at most places offshore and in Las Vegas. Alvarado is bringing back a price of +350.

But tossing the numbers out to just picking a winner, and all due respect to Rios, something tells me Alvarado is taking this fight a little more serious. I know Rios is a jovial and nonchalant guy who likes to joke and have fun, but there comes a time when you have to focus in on what is sure to be your toughest fight.

Just because it’s the same opponent, doesn’t mean it’s equally as tough as the first time. Alvarado is pissed. He wants revenge, and this one will be tougher on Rios.

“I don’t really have to prove a point, I’ve already proved I’m a great fighter,” Alvarado said. “I just want to win this fight.”

To Rios’ credit, he has stated he did some different training for this fight, and that’s great. But those plyometrics and strength and conditioning drills won’t shake the ire Alvarado has for his opponent. After all, Rios dealt the Denver-native his first career loss 168 days ago.

Don’t laugh, Alvarado’s been counting the days. I’m pretty sure he’s had this fight on his mind since the post-fight interviews in the ring after the first bout. His mind has been on nothing else. And it’s shown all week with his business-like attitude.

Alvarado also took on some new training, going back to Denver to train in the high altitude, intensifying his conditioning and cardio, and bringing in new sparring partners, who in hs words applied “pressure, pressure, pressure.” Saying that Rios was in his face the entire fight, he needed his sparring partners to do the same during fight camp.

And again, I’m not saying Rios hasn’t trained hard, but my take is he might be overconfident and I think I’m going to make him prove me wrong.

Alvarado is the clear value with how big a price he’s getting; but more than importantly, I like what I’ve seen and heard all week.

My money is on Milehigh Mike!

#RiosAlvarado #RiosAlvarado2 @MileHighMike303 @Brandon_Rios1 @HBOBoxing @TRBoxing

Brandon Rios, l, and Mike Alvarado pose for the media Wednesday at the final pre-fight press conference.

Brandon Rios, left, and Mike Alvarado pose for the media Wednesday after the final pre-fight press conference at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The two fought in an epic battle last October, won by Rios. PHOTO CREDIT: W.G. Ramirez

LAS VEGAS —  All that’s left to do is fight.

Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado both weighed in at 140 pounds Friday in the Mandalay Bay Events Center, and now the world awaits the rematch from last year’s Fight of the Year-nominated bout Rios won. In that Oct. 13 bout last year, judges Max Deluca and Zach Young had the fight scored even, 57-57, while judge James Jen Kin had it 58-56 for Rios, whose crushing right hand changed the complexion of a fight that had gone back and forth the entire fight. Rios’ onslaught was relentless enough for referee Pat Russell to step in and stop the fight at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the seventh round.

And while Rios celebrated, Alvarado looked on in amazement, as he believed the fight should have continued.

Rios-Alvarado II takes place Saturday night, with the 12-round World Boxing Organization interim junior welterweight championship being televised live on HBO.

The two have headlined an event-filled week, giving the media entertained with their quips and critiques about one another, not to mention their analysis on the first fight.

“As long as there’s a ring and an opponent in front of me … I’m ready to fight,” said Rios, the former WBA lightweight champ and No. 1 ranked WBO fighter at 140 pounds.

Rios (31-0-1, 22 knockouts) is looking for his second world title in as many weight divisions, and comes into this one having won 11 of his last 13 fights by knockout. And though it’s Alvarado who is out for revenge in this fight, Rios swears he’s just as hungry as he was the first time around.

“I’m always ready for a fight,” Rios said. “I can’t go in the ring and not expect a fight or not being hungry or motivated for a fight because I can hurt myself.”

Rios, who was installed as high as a 5-to-1 favorite but settled back to -450, said though he was victorious, he’s learned plenty after watching the first fight “3, 400 times.”

“Every time I watch it I see something new and I bring it to the gym,” Rios said.

Hoping to not leave himself open after taking his shots, by pulling back and leaving his chin squared up in front of Alvarado, the former World Boxing Association lightweight champion is confident his new strength and conditioning program will have him mobile enough to avoid Alvarado’s power bombs.

“I’m not going to say this (has been) the best training camp ever, I just worked on different things I had never done before and I see a difference in my ability to move around the ring more and I’m not so much flat-footed anymore,” Rios said. “But like I’ve said, I’m a warrior, I only know one way to fight. So I might forget everything. In the gym we practice (one way), but once I get in the ring it’s a whole different story. You go back to knowing what you do best, and that’s to fight.”

And while Rios swears he’ll get Alvarado to do just that – get in the ring, scrap the gameplan and get into a slugfest – the Denver-native says he learned from the biggest mistake of his career that resulted in the first loss of his career.

“Every time I threw a shot at him, he would crouch up, block it and then fire,” said Alvarado, who bis bringing back a price of +350. “He was there the whole… every second of every round pressuring me the whole time. Not giving me any room to breathe whatsoever. Making me have to move, making me have to defend myself more and more.

“This time around I’m going to stay tighter and move. I didn’t use no leg movement at all that first fight. I didn’t even train for that type of fight.”

Alvarado took his camp to his hometown of Denver for this fight, using the elements in the high altitude to help with his conditioning, while using a new Russian sparring partner to keep the pressure on him during training sessions.

“This dude was like Forrest Gump, he didn’t stop,” Alvarado said. “He gave me the best sparring I ever had.”

And now the key for him is simple: “Keep my gameplan and focus. That’s what’s going to win this fight.”

Again, Rios says it won’t happen.

“He’s a fighter, he’s never boxed in his whole entire career,” Rios said. “He’s a toe-to-toe guy, and once he gets hit, he’s going to go back to what he does best and that’s to fight.

“So at the end of the day, me and him in the center of the ring, we’re going to be getting it on.”

As I said, all that’s left to do is fight.

#RiosAlvarado #RiosAlvarado2 @MileHighMike303 @Brandon_Rios1 @HBOBoxing @TRBoxing

LAS VEGAS — Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado are ready to step into the ring now.

Last year they fought an epic battle some called the Fight of the Year. It was nominated as such, deservedly so. In that Oct. 13 bout last year, judges Max Deluca and Zach Young had the fight scored even, 57-57, while judge James Jen Kin had it 58-56 for Rios, whose crushing right hand changed the complexion of a fight that had gone back and forth the entire fight. Rios’ onslaught was relentless enough for referee Pat Russell to step in and stop the fight at 1 minute, 57 seconds of the seventh round.

If either had it their way, this fight could’ve taken place Wednesday at Top Rank Headquarters, where the two met with the press for Media Workout Day, it could’ve taken place Thursday in the Mandalay Bay lounge that staged the final pre-fight press conference and it could take place tomorrow immediately after weigh-ins in Mandalay Bay’s arena

Both say there’s nothing left to say and are ready to strap up the gloves and ‘get it on’ as the retired boxing referee Mills Lane might say.

“As long as there’s a ring and an opponent in front of me … I’m ready to fight,” said Rios, who as of 4:45 p.m. Thursday was installed as a -450 favorite.

Alvarado brings a comeback price of +375, at the LVH. No round props were up yet.

“I don’t really have to prove a point, I’ve already proved I’m a great fighter,” Alvarado said. “I just want to win this fight.”

#RiosAlvarado #RiosAlvarado2 @MileHighMike303 @Brandon_Rios1 @HBOBoxing @TRBoxing