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From marinated to overcooked

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Here is my reflectionary piece on this past weekend and my thoughts on why promoters shouldn't try and build up fights over years and years the way Top Rank failed at putting together a Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa despite having the two under their tent the past few. There are ways to make fights happen where the loser doesn't lose much shine in defeat, as was the case in Andre Berto's loss to Victor Ortiz or 1997's David Tua against Ike Ibeabuchi. Let me know what you guys think.




From marinated to overcooked

Mark Ortega


The month of April has already seen its fair share of upsets in big time bouts, not to mention the surrender of future paydays for several fighters on the losing end.

The frequency of predetermined outcome-turned-shocking finish this month begs an oft-pondered question. In several instances, fighters were being built into incalculable myths, assuming their respective hype matched reality.


Consider the case of James Kirkland, whose demise was, perhaps, the most unbelievable. Prior to his slated bout with former titlist Nobuhiro Ishida of Japan, Kirkland’s sloppy form during his two post-incarceration comeback fights was alarming, most notably against Colombian journeyman Jhon Berrio. The slow-handed (and footed) Berrio found Kirkland too many times past acceptable, and even wobbled the bright prospect with a jab. Ultimately, it was Berrio's skill and experience—or lack, thereof—that spelled his defeat and Kirkland’s victory, as the latter stopped him early; the Ishida assignment, however, proved a different beast.


In his fifth career appearance, little more than a decade ago, Ishida fought his first ten round bout. His sixth fight marked his first regional title and first twelve rounder; since 2005, Ishida has not fought anything less than a ten. Golden Boy Promotions matchmaker Eric Gomez deserves much praise for the entertainment value of the explosive “Action Heroes” card that included the Ishida-Kirkland bout , but the match made for Kirkland, Golden Boy’s young star-in-the-making, left much to be desired.


Ishida lost to Rigoberto Alvarez, the less talented brother of emerging Mexican superstar, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, who himself is in danger of a stalled career trajectory after having won a contrived world title in his last bout against Matthew Hatton. The building of “Canelo” is another to watch out for and to explain that would require a whole separate article.



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