Archive for June, 2020

Pawn Ry

Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

By William Trillo

As defined by
Pawn: a chess piece of the smallest size and value,
a person used by others for their own purposes

On Monday afternoon Golden Boy Promotions sent out not one but two press releases announcing they will be once again promoting shows for the first time since the Covid-19 lockdown. Notable fighters on the two summer cards include Jorge Linares, Javier Fortuna and Hector Tanajara.

Quick quiz: What is the common denominator of those three fighters?

Answer: All three names were mentioned to be opponents for Ryan Garcia before they were unceremoniously scrapped for reasons unclear and/or unexplained.

In a recent article on Boxingscene penned by Manouk Akopyan it was revealed that the Golden Boy himself, Oscar De La Hoya, had apprehensions about putting Garcia in the ring with Linares after viewing some recent training footage of “El Niño De Oro”. Exclaimed De La Hoya, “He looks like a machine.”

I have no reason to question the validity of that article but let’s be clear, this is not the first time Oscar has second guessed putting Linares and Garcia in the same ring anytime soon. One only needs to look back at the post fight interview of Linares after he dismantled Carlos “The Solution” Morales inside of four rounds. During that interview it was revealed that plans were in the works for Linares to face Garcia in July. With Oscar De La Hoya in full view of the camera Linares was asked if he was ready for the challenge. Of course, he was. But the look on De La Hoya’s face said it all. That blank deer in the headlights stare told me everything I needed to know. Oscar was already thinking how he was going to get out of this mess.

Talk about a blessing in disguise; the world was shut down in March saving Golden Boy the embarrassment of having to come up with some lame excuse why Linares vs. Garcia would never, I repeat, never happen.

During the interim Garcia was on a social media blitz calling out everyone from “Tank” Davis to Muhammad Ali and all points in between. That was all well and good and real cute in some Social Media world I am sure, but when he was given the proposal to fight Javier Fortuna, suddenly Team Garcia had a case of Laryngitis.

I took the time to reach out to Fortuna’s promoter Sampson Lewkowicz to get him to confirm that fight was on the table. Economics aside Lewkowicz told me, “Javier Fortuna agreed to face Ryan García, then GBP informed us that García did not accept the challenge.”

Do with that information as you will.

Also mentioned in the possible Garcia opponent mix was the young Hector Tanajara. Please hear me loud and clear when I say that the undefeated Tanajara is a promising young fighter, but he would have had the lowest KO ratio of any of Garcia’s handpicked opponents. It would have been a bad fight for Tanajara to take at this stage of his career and I am glad it’s off the table for now.

So what is the real story here?

Is Garcia asking for way too much money to fight the likes of Tanajara?

Is Golden Boy afraid to throw Garcia in with a fighter the caliber of Fortuna?

Did anyone other than Garcia himself think he had a snowballs chance in hell to defeat Jorge Linares?

And why did DAZN, who was blowing the Garcia horn from the rooftops suddenly back pedal when Garcia was demanding more money by suggesting, “It’s the promoter that is responsible for and pays the fighters purse, not the network.” ?

These two current press releases from Golden Boy were a loud and clear chess play from the promoter.

The Bishop just took the Knight and his troops are beginning to dwindle.

Garcia only has a move or maybe two left in his arsenal.

Anything short of taking on a viable opponent and accepting the purse of a fighter who really hasn’t proved anything other than he is a Social Media star will be the wrong play.

After that you know what comes next….


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Top Rank Boxing Is Back On ESPN; It Is Must See TV, And Here’s Why

Monday, June 8th, 2020

By William Trillo

This Tuesday night on ESPN boxing will be back as Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions will be bringing us fights twice this week from The MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas Nevada. The last time Arum promoted a card was at the Fury/Wilder title fight on February 22nd. The dreaded Coronavirus then appeared on the scene and took out everything in its path. Only now are we starting to see light at the end of the tunnel as things are finally opening up….sort of.

ESPN will be broadcasting the fisticuffs as usual but there will be no fans in attendance, which is not usual at all. No one can say for certain how things are going to go that night, but I would advise boxing fans to pay attention to all the cards that are going to be aired minus the fans. We are all going to see and hear things like never before and along the way I am expecting high drama the likes of which not only have we never seen before, but we may never them see again.

Here’s why:

Without the roar of the crowd and the cheering on from fans, fighters will not get that extra adrenaline rush that comes from the electricity of the arena. While some fighters feed off that buzz others can tune all that out and focus completely on the task at hand. How many fights have we seen turn another direction based solely on the rush the fighter gets from the crowd? More than a few. Fighters who are going in as favorites may find themselves on the wrong end of some big upsets if they are expecting the fans to pump them up in the latter rounds. Count on it.

Cornermen are going to play a huge role during the course of fight. Without the noise of the fans cornermen are going to be able to talk with their fighters during the action and give them advice easily. No longer will a fighter have to wait until in between rounds to get direction. It’s going to be real time. Trainers who can see and speak to the events as they are happening are going to become more instrumental than ever before. Others who need to process information and think about it for a bit are going to be three steps behind. And if a translator is needed to relay directions from the trainer …forget about it….too late. Am I saying it’s possible a lesser fighter can beat a more gifted fighter based on the fact his corner will be better able to relay directions during those precious three minutes? That is exactly what I am saying.

Judges scorecards are going to be extremely interesting and I can hardly wait to see them. Why you ask? How many times do you think a judge has scored a close round for one fighter over another based solely on whose punches received more reaction from the crowd? I am not suggesting anything other than the fact that judges are human and it’s difficult not to be influenced by the momentum of the crowd. Now they will be sitting on that chair ringside left to their own devices. It’s going to be interesting to say the least.

Expect upsets! Expect some trainer to become the new Flavor of the Month! Expect wild decisions! Expect unheralded fighters to become stars overnight! It’s gonna be a short and wild ride.

Boxing is back and I am excited as anyone about that fact. Yes, I would rather be at the arena covering the show but in the interim I am going to soak in every bit of it that I can. Over the summer, or however long it takes, boxing is going to take on a new personality and I choose to embrace it with open arms. Things are going to happen that we all will be talking about for years to come. We will argue whether a particular fighter would have won the fight if fans were in attendance. We will second guess corners instructions if our fighter loses. Judges scorecards are going to be scrutinized like never before.

It’s time boxing fans. Order a pizza, pour yourself a drink and get ready to enjoy. We are back in business.

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