The Confusion of Peterson

January 27, 2014

Hello hello,

So Lamont Peterson came back over the weekend off of a 8-9 month layoff from the Lucas Matthysse fight where he got pulverized like a bug on a windshield. To his credit, quick knockouts can happen early because a fighter is not warmed up or was just “caught.” This is what happened to Abner Mares against Jhonny Gonzalez and what happened to Jon Molina against Antonio DeMarco. Anyway, Lamont Peterson had some improvements, but also had some huge lapses.

Improvement:

Lamont Peterson showed some improved, quicker, and flashy footwork. He elected to move on the outside and box more. His head movement was decent and slightly improved for the most part. He flashed his jab often and showed a higher work rate than before – he used to wait and wait before letting his hands go. He showed a double jab right hand and then left hook up top combination which landed, he started throwing lead right hands, and he had a nice jab right hook to body then left hook to body (similar to the combination that Amir Khan used to drop Marcos Maidana in round 1). He was able to vary up his offense more, and to give the over matched Dierry Jean some different looks on offense. Though not improved, his punches to the body are still thudding, and so are his hooks up top too as well as his uppercuts. However, I did see him throw that sweet left uppercut to the chin and then duck away from a counter in round 3.

Confusion or Regression:

Lamont Peterson showed some confusion and regression during the fight. Any fighter to have reached a pinnacle of his career and to be TKO’ed before he was ready to quit would have doubts. This is some real “Top Gun” Maverick losing his mojo action, or Cole Trickle in “Days of Thunder” afraid of taking the outside lane – traumatized by previous mistakes and afraid to pull the trigger. This is why I feel high level athletes should hire a sports psychologist after a devastating loss – most times the damage is psychological.

Oftentimes during the fight, Peterson looked like he was confused as to what style he wanted to fight. Sometimes he would box and move, and other times he would pressure (but would be afraid to mix it up on the inside like he did in the past). Peterson is very savvy on the inside with his infighting and body punching. He looked very reluctant to stay in the pocket – in round 2 he threw a punch, and dipped to his left on the inside, and then POW! : exchanged left hooks with the decently heavy handed Jean the way he did with Matthysse. From then on during the fight, he elected to either scoot back 5 feet (wasting energy and offensive opportunities as opposed to stay in range or just out of range to continue to box, hit, or counter) or put his ear muffs on and go sit in the pocket WITHOUT THROWING PUNCHES! He did that at least a dozen times in the fight. Lucas Matthysse performed the exact same behavior after his eye closed against Danny Garcia in the mid rounds: he would move in the pocket and would cover up without letting his hands go. That does two things: it tells your opponent your hesitant, and it gives your opponent offensive opportunities knowing nothing is firing back. Sometimes the best defense is as good offense and Peterson did not use this to his advantage.

In addition, with regards to Peterson switching styles, he really was unsure of whether to stick to his game plan, go with his gut, or adjust as the fight went on. Some rounds he was brilliant and others he was flaccid and uninspired and gun shy (with fast, dancing, running feet). Other fighters to have gone through this confusion in the ring were Mike Jones (former welterweight prospect and titleholder) from Philly and Josesito Lopez of Riverside, CA. In Mike Jones’ fights against Jesus Karass Soto (twice), Sebastian Lujan, and Randall Bailey he looked like he was confused as to whether he should be a slick boxer, an intelligent brawler, or an offensive dynamo. At 6’0″ he is very tall and long as a welterweight while also having good hand speed, power, and athleticism. However, his unsureness is what lead to a few uninspired performances and then eventually getting KO’d in the 12 round of a fight he was leading against the one-handed and heavy handed Randall Bailey. The same fate happened to Josesito Lopez: he is a natural tall and lanky pressure fighter who elected to box of his back foot against Marco Maidana. Every time he fought moving forward he would almost KO Maidana, but when he elected to box off his back foot he would lay on the ropes, waste energy moving around the ring without jabbing or throwing any crosses or power punches, and would be a sitting duck on the ropes (covered up). If Peterson continues with this confusion he’ll eventually get KO’d worse than his first time.

Also, I didn’t dig how he leaned back to avoid to many punches.  That’s a dangerous prospect because all he has to do is get double jabbed when he does that and a cross would land flush as he’s rendered immobilized with his weight on his back foot.  Second, it shows a fear or hesitation in getting hit.  Boxing moves on micro seconds, so that any hesitation at any moment could lead to getting hit with a punch flush versus avoiding it or countering it swiftly.  As stated below, his counter punching was off too.  In order to counter punch one has to be totally committed to timing the opponent’s punch and then moving forward with the counter attack to off set that.

Lastly, he has stopped doing the shoulder roll right hand counter (or other counters for that matter). He is usually a sharp counter puncher, and when he has adjusted in the mid rounds of his big fights he had been able to time his opponent’s right hand and come back with a shoulder roll: straight right hand, right hook to the temple or chin, right hook to the chest, or right uppercut to the body or chin. He only attempted this maneuver 2-3 times in the Dierry Jean fight, and did not land cleanly in any of those attempts.

Just some thoughts.

The “Problem” with Adrien Broner…

December 26, 2013

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. I’ve been thinking a lot lately of Adrien Broner’s two recent performances at the welterweight division; I consider both of them hideous. I’ve felt both of them: the loss to Malignaggi (unofficially), and the loss against Maidana (officially) to expose a lot of holes in his game. I will try my best to break it down.

First, the problem is his move up in weight. In 2012, he was fighting at 130lbs and later moved up to fight twice at 135lbs. Though a giant and an athletic phenom at that weight, how much more could a guy move up within a 1 or 2 year span? Next, not satisfied and assured of his place in superstardom he did what Pacquiao, Mosley, Mayweather, and Duran have done: move up to welterweight from lightweight to seek bigger fights. However, unlike those other champions he had not quite established himself yet on a world class level though he was getting closer. Also, there comes the problem of it being viable that he could bring his stamina, power, speed, and work rate up in weight with him the way Hopkins did from 160 to 175 and the way Jones did from 175-191. The answer was no. I feel that was both a problem with his strength and conditioning program (not to mention his getting out of shape in between fights and doing a rap tour), if he even had one, and his moving up in weight too dang fast.

The result was in both fights at welterweight it appeared that his legs were stuck in mud. It took a small half second, the most minutest of fractions of time needed by boxers at a high level, for his feet to react to an oncoming attack (usually at 130 and 135 he could take a half step back or sideways and counter before his opponent has finished throwing his punch) – this rendered his attacks ineffective because his feet couldn’t match his still above average hand speed. And when an opponent attacked he didn’t have the spring in his legs to move him backwards out of range safely or to side step and circle over to the side and away from the ropes (several times he backed straight into the ropes or the corner without throwing punches). Next, his new stance at welterweight shows him standing almost straight up with knees almost locked. This almost guarantees that he’ll have no spring in his step when moving off his current position because the spring must come from the ankles and the knees. Next, he was flat footed at this weight, and trudged around landing on his heels first instead of his toes. This was not a problem at lightweight. Lastly, he had a slight crouch in the lower weight classes in his upper body to make sure his head wasn’t held straight up down the middle. This was no longer the case.

Offensively speaking, Adrien Broner’s work rate and offense at welterweight is straight up pathetic. In his efforts to sky rocket to superstardom through bypassing an intensely dense jr. welterweight division (Danny Garcia, Lucas Matthysse, Lamont Peterson, Hank Lundy, Amir Khan) he tried to pick the weakest link among the titleholders: Paulie Malignaggi (a man who apparently can’t punch) and then Marcos Maidana (a man who can punch but can’t box) – actually according to the game plan of Amir Khan who slayed both of these boxers. This whole plan backfired. Broner had single connects across several rounds with very low output numbers (some round I counted he threw no more than 15-20 punches when I believe 40 punches are the average work rate of a welterweight). In comparison, he round 5 against the best lightweight in the world, Antonio Demarco, he landed about 57 out of 77 punches.

Broner did not let his hands go and he did not throw combinations. He was loading up on power shots, and his feet were too slow to get him to the target and actually from excess weight lifting his arms and shoulders were too stiff to give him minute and on the spot counter punching reflexes. First, having lifted too many weights this hindered his : punch technique, reflexes/trigger to throw a punch, and did not necessarily improve his punch power. Next, if you look closely at his punches you can see they were mostly arm punches. He did not turn his waist, turn his hips, pivot his feet, shift weight, nor turn his shoulders over in his right cross nor his left hook. His arms were separate from his body (and a low crouching stance would have given him a lower center of gravity and a better starting point to create power in a punch: his toes or his crouched and poised thighs/calves). Also, his pinpoint and lightning fast and explosive counter punches were not on display. I could count on one hand how many times he countered Maidana’s right cross with a shoulder roll right hand (the hallmark of Mayweather’s shoulder roll defense and usually Broner’s bread and butter). In his fights against Antonio Demarco, Vincent Escobedo, and Daniel Ponce De Leon we were able to see half step back counter punches, and blinding combinations that followed up. This leads up to the next point: his offensive toolbox. In those fights I just listed in the lighter weight classes we were treated to a series of his offensive tools: the straight left jab to the stomach or chest, the check hook (a front foot pivot while delivering a left hook thus sending the opponent flying forward and making the deliverer seem to disappear), the shoulder roll right hand, the 3-5 punch combinations, and creative uses of the the shoulder roll for counter punching (he likes to use the shoulder roll right uppercut as a knock out punch such as that against Eloy Perez). All that was bunk at welterweight. Lastly, his punch power is nothing but pedestrian at that weight. I heard Maidana did say his face hurt after the fight and that Broner is a hard puncher. However, if we look at two 2nd tier elite fighters at welterweight, then we can see neither of them were hurt nor staggered once when fighting Broner. Besides slowing down his opponents once or twice or giving them something to look at, Broner oftentimes was not able to get the respect nor space he wanted.

Some would argue that Broner was never that good in the first place, or that Malignaggi and Maidana were such excellent and classy boxers that they nullified all of his gifts. However, if you look at Broner’s sparring videos (esp. the one against Lydell Rhodes: record 17-0), you can continue to see the symptoms of laziness, entitlement, and simply neglectful training that occurred during his camp. He had sparring partners that allowed him to throw 8 punches per round, that didn’t force him to move his feet, and didn’t pressure him enough to really make him adjust. Also, look at his god awful and slow foot work.

“The Miguel Cotto of Old has Emerged!”

April 13, 2010

Those are the immortal, and stupid, words uttered by Jim Lampley in about round 6 of the Miguel Cotto vs. Joshua Clottey fight.  Nothing further than the truth can be said.  Cotto was having a good round because he had just body slammed Clottey in the previous round and Clottey was rendered immobilized and stationary.  Cotto banged away, but did no real damage.  So what happened to the Old Miguel Cotto?  The Old Miguel Cotto, or as I call him, the OMC, used to systematically and incrementally break his opponents down with his trade mark left hook and wearing them down to the body.  He would break his opponents down until they quit or until he could bang on their heads in the late rounds, or continue to the body for the fateful last blow to the body in which they fall like a wet rag.  Cotto has worn down Quintana, Mosley, Judah, and Gomez.  So then what happened?  He hit the brick wall!  Literally!

So two things have permanently altered his career:  1.)  Fighting Antonio Margarito, who probably used Plaster of Paris 2.)  Breaking off with his Uncle.  At first, I was quick to jump on the bandwagon hailing Cotto’s downfall and like of finesse in his later fights due to the Margarito fight.  However, on closer look, the comeback fight against Michael Jennings shown that Miguel Cotto was still there.  He was tentative at first, but then he proceeded to wear Jennings down with his left hook.  Many including myself wrote this fight off as an easy comeback fight against the weakest link in the welterweight divison, which it was. BUT, it also represented the LAST time we’d see Cotto in training camp with his Uncle Evangelista Cotto.  Many looked forward to Cotto’s first “real” fight against Joshua Clottey when in fact, the real fight in Cotto had already left.  Cotto fired his veteran uncle in favor of rookie coach/trainer Joe Santiago. Santiago helped patch up his defense some, and improved his conditioning.  However, the result was a Miguel Cotto who used his power and aggression to win rounds from then on out by acquiring clean points whether to the body or the head.  The target was no longer important, as long as he landed something.  Gone were the days when he would put money in the bank by wearing his opponent down to the body so that by round 9 the fighter would be easy prey.  Gone  are the days where he would dislocate an opponent’s shoulder with a left hook.  I personally feel the lost of his veteran Uncle Evangelista Cotto signified the end of his old style of fighting, which was powerful and awe-inspiring.  It was strong enough of a style that I feel Alfonso Gomez patterned his style of fighting after it.  Gomez also likes to put money in the bank by hooking to the body.
IMO the old Miguel Cotto at 147 would have kicked the living daylights of Manny Pacquiao any day.  The old Miguel Cotto would not have shy-ed from a war.  The old Miguel Cotto would have invested to the body early instead of winning rounds.  You can’t outspeed nor outbox a Manny Pacquiao.  Had the old Miguel Cotto stuck to what he knew best he would have broken some ribs, and taken Manny Pacquiao out in the 10th round, and would have lost a close decision to a prime Floyd Mayweather Jr. but would have given him all he could handle. The old Cotto was great, the #1 welterweight in the world, almost a complete fighter, deadly, undefeatable, indestructible, and a force of nature. Alas, that time might be over, however, Manny Steward could still re-ignite what made Miguel Cotto great in the first place. Holler!

The Best Peek-A-Boo’s in the Business…

March 29, 2010

Yep, this is a type of defense that defines some fighters.  The peek-a-boo defense creates a cage or walls that opponents have a very hard time getting through.  To add, many of these fighters perform this style of defense while walking their opponents down and countering effectively.  So who performs this type of defense?

1.)  Gerry Penalosa-  Has an airtight guard and really performs some heavy body punching and a solid left hook.  He knocked Jhonny Gonazlez with a left hook to the body.

2.)  Antonio Tarver-  He has low volume but very good timing, some good power, and good ring IQ. He plays possum a lot too.

3.)  Ronald “Winky” Wright-  The most famous and one of the most recognized Peek-a-boo style defensive fighters.  He walks his opponents down and peppers them with straight left hands, a piston jab, and decent body work.  In his prime he could have taken on anyone at 160 and 154, but no one has given him a chance except Shane Mosley and Jermaine Taylor.  I felt he beat both of them convincingly.

4.)  Joshua “The Grandmaster (Heater)” Clottey -  Great airtight defense, walks his opponents down.  Has great counter punching ability, decent body punching, and great ring IQ.  He beat Cotto (just check out compubox numbers).

5.)  Arthur Abraham-  His defense is not as airtight as these other guys up there, but he makes up for it with huge roundhouse punches that destroy whatever they touch.  Without that God-given KO power, he’d be another Winky, and a victim of his style (losing close decisions and not winning big fights).
Have a nice day!  Dirrell won!  I predict Froch and Ward will pull out victories. Holler!

An Analysis of Top Welterweights…

March 23, 2010

1.)  Shane Mosley-  Great speed, great chin, good footwork,decent defense, great fighter’s instinct, good stamina, good heart,  good reach.  Gets outboxed by technically superior big guys sometimes (winky and forrest), works best at 147 and not 154.

2.)  Manny Pacquiao-  Amazing speed, great stamina, A chin, improved defense, high output, great power, unusual angles, two handed fighter, mixes offense and defense really well,

3.)  Joshua Clottey (nor in order)-  Iron chin, decent speed, decent counter puncher, decent body puncher, shell defense, one of the best defense in the welterweight division, sometimes not a strong finisher when it counts.

4.)  Miguel Cotto-  Huge left hook, decent boxing skills, decent counter puncher, B or C level chin, decent speed, stamina issues (after 6th or 9th round he fades fast and runs).  One of the best hearts in the divison.

5.)  Floyd Mayweather-  Great defensive skill, great speed, great counter puncher, great timing, lateral movement is below average, measuring distance is superior, huge ring iq, tricky and slick, great stamina, good chin.  Brittle hands, low offensive output, ducks good opponents, talks too much, promises his fans more than he can deliver.

6.)  Andre Berto-  Superior speed, fast feet, decently smart in the ring, power is below average.  Needs to work on infighting.  Needs more experience.

7.)  Luis Collazo-  Below average power, great volume, good defense, great heart, decent counter puncher, good body puncher, decent ring iq.

Welterweights…

March 15, 2010

Stay tuned…    I will break down the strengths and weaknesses of the top 5 welterweights when I have the time.  Have a good day! :)

Blog

March 15, 2010

Read it motherfuckers:

http://improving-daily.blogspot.com

Frank Z keeping it real fo’ sho!

Alexander The Great

March 15, 2010

This is late, but I really like the way Alexander fights.  Holding two belts now, with Khan, Pacquiao (I think or did he relinquish his titles?), and Bradley as other belt holders, Devon Alexander now has some negotiating power and some future star power. Alexander has beaten Witter, and Urango now and I feel with another tune up fight he will be ready to take on the greats.  Alexander displayed great footwork, balance, hand speed, power, combination punching, ring smarts, defense, and heart.  He took Urango out of his game plan with his lateral movement and combination punching.  I read many writers, especially on http://www.thesweetscience.com (great site), talk about how Alexander was “sufficient” or “average” or only “good” until the 8th round knockout, and I really disagree.  He did a great job of moving, and hitting, and as the commentators pointed out, of not only moving and holding like Berto did.  He kept the fight in the center of the ring and wanted to lay some hurt, not just win on points which was the safer route.  In the end, his heart and fight spirit conquered the much bigger and stronger Urango. Of course Urango the mummy was a limited test for Alexander, but I feel he’s almost ready to move on to bigger things.  I would like to see him take on Bradley after a few more fights.  He’s still young and shows promise.  I hope he doesn’t get rushed to early or he could get ruined.  I’d be in boxing heaven if I could see a Bradley Alexander trilogy. I hope the coward Khan signs a real fight sometime soon. His soft chin is  a perfect match for Malignaggi’s soft hands.  And where’s Maidana in this mix, and Ortiz? Things should get exciting.  I hope Holt and Torres make a comeback too fo’ sho!  Holler!

Why Joshua Clottey Gets No Love…

March 14, 2010

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, boxers with peek-a-boo defense get no love.  Why?  Look at Ronald “Winky” Wright and look at Joshua Clottey.  Two boxers with airtight defense, who bring the fight to the opponent, who can box and counter punch, BUT that don’t have one punch knockout power like Arthur Abraham, another fellow peek-a-booer.  Joshua Clottey can pretty much catch anyone’s Sunday Punch and combination on his gloves and elbows.  His defense wizardry and genius is in my opinion up to par with Floyd Mayweather Jr.  Neither of them get hit, and both of them are pretty good counter punchers and they both have good chins. So what’s the difference?  Why does Mayweather win fights and Clottey doesn’t?  First let’s analyze the situation.  Floyd can roll, slip, and bob and shoulderoll 20 punches in a row, and can land a jab or 1-2 and he will get the round or the “better” of the exchange.  Clottey would block and parry 20 punches in a row on gloves and elbows, and land a right cross flush or a double left hook or a left uppercut, and people will say “he didn’t want to win the fight enough”. Why is this?  My feeling is that the boxing public and most experts don’t appreciate the peek-a-boo stance.  They feel if the boxer is at least hiting gloves or elbows he’s partially scoring.  I think that’s bullshit.  When a boxer hits nothing but gloves and elbows no matter how many punches (shoe shining or aka- “missing”) I feel they shouldn’t be rewarded on volume or output alone.  In my opinion, it’s the exact same thing as missing 20 punches, however if the boxer throwing punches has “pop” or flash in their combination it might look eye catching to the judges, audience, and the whore nutsack rubbers of HBO commentating and then they’ll say “wow Berto is really giving it to him, or Judah is beating Clottey, or Pacquiao is really a genius”.  This is all bullshit.  Blocked shots is the same as missed shots:  nothing, bullshit, scram.  In addition, like Floyd Mayweather, Clottey doesn’t have a huge offensive output, but is accurate when he connects, and usually makes his opponents miss.  So what is the difference between Floyd and Clottey?  What is the “X” Factor?  I feel athleticism, flashy combos, a bit personality/charisma, showboating, and some kind of speed “wow’s” the judges on the part of Mayweather, but something Joshua Clottey does not have.  So what does this come down to?  Judges, experts, and fans alike are “wow”-ed by flashy combos and athleticism and NOT by true boxing, because otherwise they’d be more impressed with Joshua Clottey.  Clottey blocking 20 shots is being “inactive”, “passive”, and “overly defensive” and/or “scared” even though he counters after that flurry, BUT Floyd shoulder rolling 20 shots and then countering is seen as “defense wizardry”.  Makes me sick, the boxing establishment don’t know shit, and THIS is why Clottey loses fights, not because he lacks heart, is unwilling to take chances, or misses that “X” Factor.  It’s his style that will never be appreciated, not his heart or skills.  In my opinion, on Saturday, March 13th, Clottey kicked Pacquiao’s ass. The evidence is written on Pacquiao’s face. Pacquiao is a great fighter, but Clottey made him look like an amateur.  Holler!

Louie, Louie, Louie

March 7, 2010

I can’t wait until Luis Collazo gets another  title shot.  He’s one of my favorite fighters and welterweights today.  He’s all action, all pressure, relentless, defensively and fundamentally sound, and to many people including myself he beat Hatton and Berto.  Berto fight wasn’t even close.  Collazo deserves all the big money fights and big accolades for his performance in the ring.  This guy is a real fan of him.  Keep hammering Collazo!


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