SAN DIEGO, June 15, 2012 – It has become customary for HBO to air its pay-per-view fights for its general audience a week later. But never has there been so much interest in a fight a week later as in the replay of the welterweight title fight between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley on Saturday night, June 16, at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
To call it controversial is the boxing understatement of the year so far. The debate continues fast and furious among experts, fans, and even politicians a week later. Conspiracy theories continue to emerge, and a review of the fight is underway by the World Boxing Organization. The Nevada State Attorney General has been asked to examine the results.
HBO has provided fans their own blank scorecard for the fight which you can download and use to score the bout round by round. Fans can then choose the winner on HBO’s Facebook page, with the results announced during the live bout to follow.
The replay precedes the scheduled middleweight title fight between Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. and Irish boxer Andy Lee, live from El Paso, Texas. Chavez Jr. is the son of the legendary Hall of Famer and four-time world champion who remains a beloved sports hero in Mexico, but he does not enjoy the same affection from the fans as his father. While Chavez is undefeated at 45-0, and has the physical ability and the pedigree to succeed, his lack of discipline in and out of the ring has disappointed many people including me.
Chavez has a history of struggling to make the 160-pound weight limit and then blowing up before bouts, which slows him down in the ring making for sluggish, uninteresting fights. In his last bout in February against Marco Antonio Rubio, he barely made the weight by dehydrating himself to a dangerous degree, and then gained 21 pounds back between the weigh-in and the fight, a ridiculous situation.
Chavez was arrested for drunk driving just two weeks before the fight on January 22 in Los Angeles. A boxer in training shouldn’t be drinking any alcohol, let alone getting behind the wheel after doing so. Chavez has since pled guilty and was sentenced to three years probation and community service.
This will be Chavez’ third fight working with trainer Freddie Roach, newly inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame last weekend after working the corner of Manny Pacquiao. Whether Roach can work his magic and impose some focus on Chavez is hard to say. Strength and conditioning coach Alex Ariza, who had been working with Chavez, was removed for this fight in favor of Luis Cornejo. Some say this was Chavez’ decision; others say Top Rank made the call.
Lee, 28 and 1 with 20 knockouts, is a lean middleweight at six-foot-two, three inches taller than Chavez. Lee’s sole loss to Brian Vera in 2008 was avenged with a unanimous decision last October. Lee is trained by Emanuel Steward and fights out of the Kronk Gym in Detroit. Vera has been one of his sparring partners in preparation for this fight. Lee is a tenacious southpaw fighter who can take punishment.
Both the fighters made weight Friday. For once, Chavez did not have to struggle and made weight at 159 pounds, with Lee at 159¼. It is the first time I’d even call Chavez lean. But there was a weight controversy of sorts. Lee’s team weighed his gloves to ensure they were 10 ounce gloves, but Chavez’ camp refused to weigh his gloves despite a request from the Texas Boxing Commission.
Speaking of the Commission, before last week’s fight, Texas has been known for controversial decisions by judges. For this fight, only one judge is from Texas, Jesse Reyes. Joining him are international judges Rey Danseco of the Philippines, and John Keane of the United Kingdom.
Neither fighter is known for defensive skills. They both appear to be in good condition, and each represents a step up for the other. It isn’t likely to be a careful, boring fight. The event is taking place at the Sun Bowl with a capacity of 35,000, and it may be very close to capacity for the fight. The crowd will overwhelmingly support the Mexican fighter Chavez.
Boxing fans and the sport can’t take another crazy decision. Let’s hope Chavez and Lee take matters into their own hands and decide the bout with a knockout, leaving nothing for the judges to deal with.
Following the doubleheader, HBO will air a new edition of “The Fight Game with Jim Lampley” at 12 midnight Eastern live from the Sun Bowl.
Fans, join us for a live fight chat online as we follow the action for you right here on Communities at Washington Times. Let’s talk whether you’re seeing Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley fight for the first time or getting a second (or third) look. Then we’ll enjoy the middleweight title bout between Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. and Andy Lee. Our coverage begins at 10 p.m. Eastern, 7 p.m. Pacific Time.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in the Communities at The Washington Times. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +
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