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Andre Berto received a savage beating from Shawn Porter in the eighth round of the welterweight match-up, being pummeled along the ropes.

After the round, Virgil Hunter asked Berto why he went back to the ropes. “Why did you do that? I want to understand?” The camera cut away before we could hear the rest of the exchange.

The straight answer would have been that he had no legs left.

Berto has been washed up since November of 2012 when he was pummeled by Robert Guerrero in losing a twelve-round decision. He should have retired after being stopped by the painfully ordinary Jesus Soto Karass eight months later. But he was picked up by Virgil Hunter who seems to be a trainer interested in reclamation projects unlike any other in recent memory. Berto didn't exactly resurrect his career under Hunter but did manage wins over Josesito Lopez and Victor Ortiz for no other reason than the fact that those men were even more washed up then he was.

In his prime, he was a strong, fiery welterweight who threw a sick right uppercut. What we saw last night was the proverbial shell of a fighter. He boxed well in the opening stanza, dancing on his toes and backing up Shawn Porter who strangely elected to box.

The fight changed in the second, as Porter became the beast we've grown accustomed to seeing. He pinned Berto against the ropes, at times it looked as if he would maul him straight out of the ring. Berto landed a few stinging uppercuts throughout the fight but those were his lone highlight. He spent the entire fight being pinned on the ropes and when in ring center, he bounced on his toes as if to try and gain life into his dead legs.

The beat down was gradual until the eighth round. Porter then brought the full brunt of his brutal fighting style upon Berto. I can 't remember a more sustained attack to the head and body since the days of Mike Tyson. This round laid the groundwork for the finish in the ninth when Porter's overhand rights and hooks became too much for the brave Berto.

Shawn Porter now becomes the mandatory for Keith Thurman but I'm unsure if a rematch is in the cards. Porter has two problems...1) He lacks a solid fan base to warrant big money fights. 2) He's pure hell to fight.

It will be interesting to see where Berto goes from here. Retirement is the easy answer. But my guess is that he switches trainers and continues to fight.

Deontay Wilder simply toyed with an outgunned Chris Arreola whose corner stopped the one-sided match after the eighth round.

Arreola had been taken a beating throughout the fight. He was knocked down in the fourth round while suffering a cut over his nose and a swollen left eye.

Wilder, who apparently was fighting with a broken right hand and a distal tear in his elbow (he had a large abrasion on his elbow which he attributed to "an accident while working in the yard."), easily kept the distance between himself and Arreola as he teed off with power shots

Wilder took the bout with Arreola after Alexander Povetkin bowed out with a positive PED test. Wilder would lose $3 million dollars in the process after he lost out on a $5 million payday the Russian.

Arreola was paid $150,000 to absorb the beating.

This should be the last we see of Arreola as he no longer possesses anything other than a name. While his facial expression showed an early determination, he seemed to resign himself to defeat by the second round. His power shots had absolutely no effect on Wilder who treated the "Nightmare" as if he were a sparring partner. There has always seemed to be a lack of focus and resolve with Arreola. Now that he has aged that lack of passion has become more apparent...He blew his chance back in 2009 with a lackluster effort against Vitali Klitschko. His career never fully recovered after that as he suffered untimely losses and ultimately regressed into the cannon fodder we saw last night.

Wilder certainly deserves more regard in the American sports media. His record (37-0, 36 knockouts) looks like something out of a video game as
one of the commentators said. He still needs that career defining win which may come in a future match against Tyson Fury or Anthony Joshua.
This was supposed to be a coming-out party for Sammy Vasquez. Instead, it served as a showcase for the slick former Olympian Felix Diaz as he outpointed the favorite over ten rounds.

"I knew in my heart I lost that fight," Vasquez said. "I tried my hardest, but there were things I should have done that I didn't do. We can't look in the past. He's a hell of fighter. He's an Olympic gold medalist for a reason. He had a tough decision loss to Lamont Peterson. To me, he was an undefeated Olympic gold medalist."

"I take nothing away from the man. He's a hell of a fighter. I'm a hell of a fighter. At the end of the day we put on a great show. We'll huddle up and start back at the drawing board. I've got to start knocking those names down again."

Vasquez did not look like the same fighter that swarmed over and overwhelmed opposition en route to coming to a precipice to a title shot against Danny Garcia. There were those in some circles (myself included) who gave him an excellent shot at upending Garcia once he got past Diaz.

Diaz, however, would use a snapping right jab that snapped Vasquez' head back throughout the match.

"Since Vasquez is taller than me and has longer reach, my plan of attack was to stay inside and fight him at a close distance," Diaz said.

Diaz took control of the fight by the fourth round. In the fifth, his superior class and pedigree came to the fore as he pasted Vasquez with
combinations.

Vasquez' body language was that of a confused man throughout the ten rounder. He often turned his head away from shots and looked as if he wanted to be someplace else.

There was some controversy with the scorecards as initially the bout was scored as a majority draw. The scores were then recalculated and Diaz was declared the winner.

"I've never been in a situation where I had to wait for them to add up the scores again because, obviously, I was undefeated," Vasquez said. "This is my first loss. Losses you learn from. Losses just mean you have room to grow. We'll take this and come back strong the next time."

Based on this performance, Vasquez does not look anywhere near prime-time. Trainer turned commentator Virgil Hill stated throughout the bout
that Vasquez may have been tired because he was "playing with his kids" before the fight.

Neither Diaz or the judges cared, however. Vasquez was listless throughout...he simply didn't have any answers as to make adjustments to the technically superior Diaz.

At first glance, it is easy to write off this upcoming defense by Wilder as an edition of the “Bum of the Month Club.” Despite holding a world title, Wilder is considered a work-in-progress by most boxing critics. His handlers may feel the same way as his next oppponent, Johann Duhaupas, is as lightly regarded as can be.

That being said, the vulnerabilities shown by Wilder during his bout with Molina in particular makes me think that any time he steps in the ring, anything can happen. Molina wobbled the gangly “Bronze Bomber” with a left hook in the third round of their bout. The over-matched challenger swarmed over the still green champion and gave pause to anyone thinking that Wilder was a finished product.

The breakdown is as follows:

 

RECORD AND WORLD RATING

DEONTAY WILDER : Wilder has a glossy record of 33-0 with 31 knockouts. He won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics. Turned pro in November of 2008. Won the WBC Heavyweight bout by decisioning Bermane Stiverne in a breakout performance. This will be the second defense of his title

JOHANN DUHAUPAS : Duhaupas is 32-2 with 20 knockouts. Has campaigned almost exclusively in France with a few pit stops in Switzerland. Has one a few spurious regional belts, most notably the EBU heavyweight title.

 

AGE AND PHYSICAL EQUIPMENT

DEONTAY WILDER: Wilder looks to be at or quickly approaching his physical prime at the age of 29. ...Is a physical specimen at 6'7” and his best fighting weight appears to be at 220 lbs. Mammoth 83-inch reach...

JOHANN DUHAUPAS : The “Reptile” is 34 years old...Stands 6'5” and weighs in the 240 lb range...Doesn't seem to be a physically strong fighter...Relatively light-hitting...Has never faced an opponent anywhere near Wilder's level of athletic ability or power so it is hard to gauge how durable he really is without evidence.

 

BEST WEAPON

DEONTAY WILDER: Powerful overhand right cross may be the most potent in boxing today. Sets it up with a sharp jab a la Mark Breland and often powers the punch through his opponent's guard. His knockout of fringe contender Sergei Liakhovich was highlight-reel worthy. Floored the game Eric Molina with a newly developed left hook.

JOHANN DUHAUPAS: Duhaupas jabs, jabs and jabs some more. His attack does not include a variety of punches beyond a jab and a right hand which he loops into a hook, stifling its power. His jab is pesky, however, which he uses consistently.

 

PREVIOUS FIGHT:

DEONTAY WILDER : Came in ten pounds over his previous 219 lbs in stopping upstart Eric Molina in nine rounds. Wilder floored his foe twice in the fourth and once in the fifth but not before Molina stunned him with a hook in the third.

JOHANN DUHAUPAS : Defeated fellow Euro Manuel Charr via majority decision over ten rounds. Duhaupas utilized a steady stream of jabs throughout which kept the turtle-like Charr from advancing forward. A slow-paced, low energy bout which Duhaupas won by being busier.

 

QUALITY OF OPPOSITION:

DEONTAY WILDER: Whatever criticism Wilder endures for a lack of competition on his resume is unfounded. He has not avoided anyone in the division (if he continues to face fighters of Eric Molina or Duhaupas' quality then when can say he needs to step up) as he has only now acquired a position where he can choose. His record shows the standard level of progression in competition starting with the undefeated Kelvin Price, to Malik Scott and then onto Bermane Stiverne who had proven his worth in defeating Chris Arreola twice. Wilder has done all that has been asked of him thus far.

JOHANN DUHAUPAS : Duhaupas' has limited himself to inferior Euro opposition. When you factor in only twenty knockouts in 34 outings he clearly is not blasting these scrubs out. The biggest names on his resume are Manuel Charr and Erkan Teper.

 

DEFENSE :

DEONTAY WILDER : Wilder covers up in close and uses his legs for defense. It must be said, however, that his offense is his defense. He has an odd fighting stance as his right foot is almost directly parallel to his body and this seems to effect his lateral movement. The primary weakness lobbed at Wilder is his disturbing tendency to back straight-up. Lucky for him, there is a dearth of scientific fighters in the heavyweight ranks who can take advantage of his technical flaws.

JOHANN DUHAUPAS : Uses his legs and sometimes uses a Philly shell defense of hiding his head behind his lead shoulder. He doesn't stand too straight-up like most Euro fighters. Similar to Wilder, he utilizes very little head movement, relying on a steady stream of jabs as his defense before covering or clinching. Doesn't appear to be a strong inside fighter.

 

STYLE:

DEONTAY WILDER : A headhunter in the truest sense of the word. Stylistically similar to his mentor, Mark Breland. Walks down opponents with long left jabs and murderous right crosses. Is arguably the hardest puncher in the division. Awkward, gangly style, sometimes placing both gloves atop one another as if about to pitch a baseball. Bad habit of pulling straight back and appearing off-balance. Fight ending power, however, may be enough to get him out of any situation.

JOHANN DUHAUPAS : Pesky jabber who does just enough to win. Very basic in his approach. Throws a wide right cross to the head and body but has very little snap in his power punches. Does have an authoritative jab which has won most of his fights. Not as stiff as most European fighters but can be bullied physically as evidenced in his loss to Erkan Teper.

 

QUESTIONS:

DEONTAY WILDER : Will the pressure of being the long-awaited American heavyweight champion effect him negatively? Will this added pressure force him to try “too hard” and leave himself vulnerable to counters?

JOHANN DUHAUPAS : Will the bright lights and Wilder's hometown crowd shake him out of his game plan? How will he react when he is hit harder than he has ever been hit before? Does he have the mental toughness to try and win rather than just survive?

 

THE OUTCOME:

Wilder will look to impress, that is certain. There are two possible outcomes. The first is that Duhaupas is floored by the first hard punch Wilder lands, so we're looking at a first to second round stoppage. In a lot of Wilder's fights his opponents seemed almost shocked by the power of the “Bronze Bomber” before being stretched. It is easy to see Duhaupas getting hit by a huge right and going down in a heap like Malik Scott or Sergei Lyakhovich. In checking out some of his footage, however, Duhaupas does have some grit about him. It is equally easy to see him covering up and trying to grind out a few rounds like Eric Molina did. I'm leaning toward that route but don't think he can last as long as Molina. The bottom line here is that Duhaupas does not have the firepower to threaten the Bronze Bomber. He does have that “survivor” look about him, however, so I don't quite see him being blown out.

 

PREDICTION: WILDER KO5

DEONTAY WILDER BOXING DVD SET

 

 

Floyd Mayweather's pay-per-view outing against Andre Berto drew the least amount of sales in his six-fight deal with Showtime. The fight itself was duly criticized in most circles as insiders saw Berto as recycled goods and fans were sorely disappointed at the lack of action in the much anticipated Pacquiao fight. 

It is reported that most people close to Mayweather have reported that he seems pretty resolute in his decision to remain retired. 

In the interview below, Mayweather explains his decision to retire and how now all of his critics are missing him. I don't think he won't be so much missed as much as his detractors are upset that they won't see anything but a zero in his loss column. 

Paulie Malignaggi's analysis is usually spot on. He hedges on giving a pick here...Yours truly is giving  Cotto a slight edge but I'll analyze it further in another blog post. 

I think Tyson Fury has the best chance against Wladimir Klitschko in since...forever...Klitschko is not getting any younger and has taken advantage of a dearth of experience and competition for years now. He didn't look all that dominant against a relative neophyte like Bryant Jennings. In Fury, he has a big opponent who has something that almost all of his previous opponents lacked, and that is attitude. And yes, I know that a chip on your shoulder doesn't win fights but a lot of Klitschko's opponents have been really *nice* guys outside the ring. Fury comes across as legitimately confident and looks like he is willing to put in the work to give himself the best chance against the long-reigning champion 

 

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