Elite Boxers Mingle as HBO Takes Over Hollywood

by Kieran Mulvaney

Photo by Trevor McNeal - HBO Boxing

As he climbed the stairs, Gennady Golovkin spied Adonis Stevenson and made a beeline directly for him, prompting onlookers to hold their collective breath. Then the middleweight champion smiled, the light heavyweight title holder extended his hand, and the two men hugged and posed for photos.  

Also posing for photos were Ruslan Provodnikov and Mike Alvarado, two junior welterweights who on October 19 will be swapping furious punches, but on this evening were breaking bread over dinner with several of their fellow pugilists.

The following day, Stevenson walked onto a Hollywood sound stage just as Mikey Garcia was preparing to leave. “You’re going to have fun,” the undefeated former featherweight champ said through a smile. “I hope you like getting wet.”

As he said that, the halls echoed with the sounds of Provodnikov bellowing "Champion!" while posing beneath a simulated rain shower. Terence Crawford and Yuriorkis Gamboa took turns jumping rope for the camera, while on the next stage, Juan Manuel Marquez worked a heavybag as shutters clicked.

Such was the scene at a studio space in Hollywood this week during a promotional shoot to showcase the latest class of HBO boxing talent ahead of a packed fall and winter schedule of fights. And when the boxers weren’t being put through their paces by the photo and video teams, they were sitting down for interviews. HBO Latino was on site. So was ESPN. And so was HBO.com, taking the opportunity to enjoy some quiet time with the cream of the network’s boxing talent.

Stevenson shared with us just how much his late trainer, Emanuel Steward, meant to him. Nonito Donaire revealed that he is learning to play the piano and spending more time pursuing his childhood love of painting. Provodnikov explained how boxing saved his life, and discussed his love of Russian poetry. Gamboa revealed a spiritual side to his personality that he admitted might be a surprise to fans and detractors alike. Both Crawford and Golovkin told us they love to fish. Garcia explained that, despite growing up in a boxing family, his involvement in and embrace of the sport happened relatively late in life. Alvarado smiled as he described his desire to “excite the world.”

The theme of the promotion – which will air later this year – is an invitation to scratch the superficial surface and explore what lies beneath. The fighters themselves—all consummate mensches— helped make that happen during the shoot, as they opened up and shared their thoughts on boxing and life. The result will be a series of blogs and features that we will run over the coming weeks and months, as the boxing schedule kicks into high gear. In the meantime, enjoy this gallery of behind-the-scenes photos, to give you a sense of the atmosphere as HBO’s boxing stars invaded Hollywood.

Photos by Trevor McNeal / HBO Boxing

Steward’s Spirit Felt by Both Dawson, Stevenson

by Kieran Mulvaney

When Chad Dawson and Adonis Stevenson meet in Montreal on HBO Boxing After Dark on Saturday night, it will be a clash of two southpaws with different styles. Defending light-heavyweight titlist Dawson is a technician, a boxer-puncher with emphasis on the boxer; Stevenson is an action fighter with knockout power. But aside from their profession, their favored hand and their weight class, they have one other thing in common: As Eric Raskin notes in the fight overview on HBO.com, both have been trained by Emanuel Steward, whose insight for so long elucidated the sport for fans and clarified strategy and tactics for fighters.

Dawson turned to Steward at the end of 2010, after losing his light-heavyweight belt to Jean Pascal.

"At this stage of my career, I'm only going to work with fighters who can achieve greatness, and I see greatness in Chad Dawson," Steward enthused at the time. "Chad Dawson will regain his light heavyweight title and perhaps add titles in the super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions. He is that talented."

The first step in Dawson’s recovery from the Pascal loss was a meeting with Adrian Diaconu in May 2011. Steward was in the corner for that clash; during the build-up to it, he spoke optimistically of how his new charge, at times infamously diffident in the ring, was becoming imbued with the spirit of his most famous pupil. "Chad is very talented. He just has to remain focused and aggressive," Steward said. "He can be a little too laid back. He trained at the Kronk Gym. He's picked up a bit of Tommy Hearns' aggression."

Their first fight together yielded the desired victory, after which boxer and trainer pivoted toward a matchup with new light-heavyweight kingpin Bernard Hopkins, who had defeated Pascal on the same card as Dawson’s win over Diaconu. But with the clash just a few weeks away, the two men parted company, with Dawson apparently preferring to train in the Poconos mountains rather than travel back to Detroit and the Kronk.

So be it; such things happen often in boxing. Steward had helped Dawson get back on track, and the boxer would ultimately defeat Hopkins in the biggest win of his career. Steward continued with his ringside work for HBO and as a trainer; in early 2012, he joined forces with a hard-hitting super-middleweight about whom he could not have been more enthusiastic. His name was Adonis Stevenson.

"I've had many world champions but his punching power and intensity is not normal. I'm very excited about Adonis and I can't see any 168-pounder not having a very tough time against him," he raved. Stevenson’s preparation at the Kronk for a scheduled 12-rounder against Jesus Gonzales was "phenomenal": Of all the champions to have trained at the famous gym, he said, "Adonis has created the most excitement."

Stevenson destroyed Gonzales inside a round; two months later, in April, he needed only two rounds to knock out Noe Gonzalez.

Stevenson fought again last October, but this time Steward could not be in his corner. He had been taken seriously ill and been hospitalized; two weeks after Stevenson defeated Don George by TKO, Steward died.

Stevenson, who said Steward was "like a father" to him, said recently that, "I didn’t want to believe he was gone and passed away."

In that, he is far from alone. Almost eight months later, Steward’s passing still hurts and his absence – his knowledge, his enthusiasm, his warmth – is missed around boxing on a daily basis. But his influence lives on, and it will find expression on Saturday when two men meet each other in the ring, each of them looking to deploy skills and techniques that Emanuel Steward taught them.

Related: Inside HBO Boxing remembers Manny Steward.

Emanuel Steward 1944-2012

by Kieran Mulvaney


Emanuel Steward, Hall-of-Fame trainer and manager, and a beloved member of the HBO boxing family, has passed away at the age of 68.

Born in West Virginia in 1944, he moved to Detroit, a city with which he would become deeply linked, as a child. It was there that he began to box, compiling an impressive amateur record that culminated, at the age of 18, in a Golden Gloves title in 1963. Instead of turning professional, however, Steward focused on training amateur fighters, although monetary concerns obligated him to initially earn a living as an electrician. In 1971, he accepted a part-time job as a trainer in Detroit’s Kronk Recreation Center, and that year his amateur team won the Detroit Golden Gloves team title.

In 1972, he became a full-time trainer/manager at Kronk, and in 1977, he ventured permanently into the world of professional boxing. Within three years he had his first world champion, in the form of Hilmer Kenty, who stopped  Ernesto Espana to win a lightweight title. Five months later, he had his second, when rangy, power-punching welterweight Thomas Hearns  knocked out Pipino Cuevas in the second round.

Although he would manage and train fighters for three decades more, it was Hearns with whom Steward was and will always be most strongly identified. During boxing’s most recent Golden Age, he was at Hearns’ side for his megafights with fellow Hall-of-Famers Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Roberto Duran.

He won the Boxing Writers Association of America Manager of the Year award in 1980 and 1989, and received Trainer of the Year honors in 1993 and 1997. It was also in 1996 that he was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He became much in demand for his training acumen, receiving the call from the likes of Oscar De La Hoya and Haseem Hamed; but the final 15 years of his training career were dominated by two heavyweights: Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko.

Steward was in Oliver McCall’s corner when McCall shockingly knocked out Lewis in 1994 to win a heavyweight crown. Lewis almost immediately turned to Steward to take charge of his career, and the two men regained the heavyweight title, overcame the shock of a knockout loss to Hasim Rahman by blasting out Rahman in a rematch, and concluded Lewis’ career with stoppage wins over Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko.

When Lewis retired, Steward was invited to train Vitali’s brother Wladimir, and the two men spent eight years together, losing just once and running up 16 consecutive victories  thereafter as Wladimir entrenched himself as the dominant heavyweight of his era.

For a decade, Steward was also one of the ringside voices of HBO Boxing, bringing to his commentary the insightful analysis of one who was steeped in the sport’s fundamentals, as well as the passion of one who thoroughly enjoyed and admired the sport and its participants. Who can forget his excited calls during the first Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward classic, or when Victor Ortiz rebounded from a knockdown to drop Andre Berto?

Those who were fortunate to befriend or work with him knew an Emanuel Steward that others could easily have inferred from watching and listening: a genuinely warm-hearted man, who had time for seemingly everybody, who never turned anyone away nor any request down, who loved not just boxing people, but people, period.

“There are no adequate words to describe the enormous degree of sadness and loss we feel at HBO Sports with the tragic passing of Manny Steward,” said Ken Hershman, President of HBO Sports.

“For more than a decade, Manny was a respected colleague who taught us so much not only about the sweet science but also about friendship and loyalty. His energy, enthusiasm and bright smile were a constant presence.  Ten bells do not seem enough to mourn his passing. His contributions to the sport and to HBO will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Emanuel Steward’s Keys To The Fight

By Kieran Mulvaney

Emanuel Steward, Hall-of-Fame trainer and HBO boxing analyst, sees a lot to like about Saturday’s clash between Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley. Pacquiao is the big favorite, but Steward warns fans not to sleep on the American. “Bradley is not known as a superstar fighter, but I’ve known him since he was a young amateur; I coached him for the United States program, and I know one thing about him is his consistency,” he says.

He shared some of what he thinks are the key points and matchups to look out for on Saturday night.

Is Pacquiao vulnerable to the upset?

I think he is vulnerable to some degree. It’s only natural. The guy has just about held this sport together for the last five years. it’s amazing that a little guy from the Philippines is who the sport has been surviving on, but it’s because he makes exciting fights and he consistently fights the best. Even though there are times when other fighters, like Floyd [Mayweather] for instance, takes his breaks [from the sport], Manny has been consistent. I think that sometimes all those super fights can create some wear and tear, and also now he has a political career that he seems to be very serious about. A person just has so much energy – physically, emotionally and spiritually – and I think a lot of that has been expended right now in his case because of this job, and he takes that job extremely seriously.

Who can get respect first?

Manny’s going to have to come out and get some respect by hurting Timothy early. Bradley needs to come in and put a lot of pressure on him. He needs to come in with pressure, pressure, and a tight defense.

Move those feet

Pacquiao needs to come out and try to take advantage of his much better footwork. The main thing is: he needs to be Manny, do what he does naturally, but not get too far out of position when he punches. Timothy doesn’t need to worry about lateral movement or anything like that; that’s not the kind of fighter he is. He just needs to come straight up the middle, and apply speed and pressure.

Swing and a miss

When Manny comes in, Bradley should take a little step back and make Manny miss with his punches. Because a lot of times, Manny is so aggressive, he punches and gets out of balance. And this is what [Juan Manuel] Marquez does very well; Marquez lets him punch and miss so that, because he punches so hard, particularly with that left hand, he can fall out of position, and then you go back to putting pressure on him again.  Timmy’s a smart, tough little guy like Marquez, and he has speed. Timothy’s not known as a fast fighter, but he has speed still.

The end result?

Bradley is a mentally very strong individual. So it’s going to be two strong-minded guys, which I think is going to make for a super fight.  Even though I favor Pacquiao, I think this is a very close fight, almost borderline toss-up.

Full Fight Day Schedule for Mayweather-Cotto

This weekend’s boxing mega-event, Floyd Mayweather vs. Miguel Cotto, airs live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT. But before the opening bell rings on HBO PPV, InsideHBOBoxing.com has a full day’s worth of fight news and events to get you fired up for the big bout:

- Catch up on all the action of Fight Week, all day long -

InsideHBOBoxing.com has reported every angle of Mayweather-Cotto straight from the ground in Vegas.

- Watch the full run of ‘Mayweather-Cotto 24/7’ -

The full episodes are playing now on HBO.com and YouTube.

- Show up early for the untelevised undercards LIVE on HBO.com -

At 4 pm ET / 7 pm PT, live streaming of the initial bouts of the evening will be available free.

- Kick off your night with ‘Fight Day Now’ -

At 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT, catch HBO’s prefight show right before the televised matches begin.

- Join the Twitter conversation right here -

When the PPV broadcast starts at 9 pm ET / 6 pm PT, stay online for live updates, round-by-round scoring and more.

Mayweather-Cotto: Emanuel Steward’s "Keys To The Fight"

By Kieran Mulvaney

Hall-of-Fame trainer and HBO boxing analyst Emanuel Steward is no stranger to big fights. He’s been in the corner of, among others, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oscar De La Hoya, Lennox Lewis – and, for two fights, Miguel Cotto. So we asked him to turn his encyclopedic knowledge and first-hand experience toward analyzing this Saturday’s matchup between Cotto and Floyd Mayweather, and ticking off the keys to either man securing victory.

Floyd Mayweather

1. Keep it slow. And fast.

Floyd can make his body move at one speed, and punch at a different speed. It’s very difficult for fighters to adjust to that. Because usually you move at a certain rhythm and you punch at the same rhythm. He doesn’t do that. He has a very smooth, systematic way of moving and he punches at a different speed. That’s something very few fighters master. So I expect him to try and force Miguel to fight at a slower pace, a pace at which Floyd is comfortable and still able to throw fast punches.

2. It’s technical

I think Floyd’s going to come out and try to make it a technical fight. In recent fights he has become a much more physical fighter than we have given him credit for. With Mosley and these guys he’s walking them down, blocking punches, not backing away. I expect him to jab, come forward, be patient and place his punches very well.

3. It’s all in the head

Floyd has an unbelievable ability to keep calm and think in all conditions. Ray Leonard had that ability, and Muhammad Ali. I think the best way to illustrate that is when there was all that trouble in the fight with Zab Judah. When everybody was in the ring going crazy, he just walked to the corner and watched everybody, very relaxed. That’s a big factor he has going for him: the ability to think under all conditions.

He has an ego, but I think it helps. He has a total obsession with never losing a fight. I think that works to his advantage, because apart from anything else, he always makes sure he is in excellent condition.

 

Miguel Cotto

1. Stand tall

He has to maintain his height to a certain degree, not get excessively low, the way he was when he was fighting Manny Pacquiao, for example. When I was training him, I pointed it out. I said “Look at these pictures here. Pacquiao looks about seven inches taller than you are, because you’re fighting too low. You’re giving your height away. And your legs are spread too far apart, which means you can’t get in and out as fast as you should.”

2. Back him up

He has to back Floyd up, but back him up with a good, authoritative jab and maintain his balance when he does it, not with his legs too far apart. A hard, authoritative jab to back Floyd up and then hard left hooks. And when Floyd moves away, Miguel’s got to keep pressure on him again. It’s very important for Miguel to take Floyd out of his comfort zone. Very important. That’s the key, key thing in his fight. Make Floyd feel uncomfortable by constantly putting pressure on him.

3. Hit him with his best shot

Miguel still has one of the best punches there’s ever been in boxing – specifically, his left hook. And what’s amazing, very few people ever realized it, but he is almost 100 percent a left hook fighter. He almost never does damage with his right hand. For him to win, he needs to come out and apply intelligent pressure. He needs to fight behind a very hard jab, a jab where he will be forcing Mayweather to lose power a little bit, by moving him back so his weight will be on his right foot. And Mayweather will be in his defensive mode, where he rolls his left hand around his body, to move him into that position with hard left jabs and then to unleash vicious left hooks when Floyd is all twisted up.

 

Marquez Won’t Be Satisfied To Survive

By Eric Raskin

Photo Credit: Will Hart“Obsession” is a word that has a negative connotation attached to it. It conjures up images of stalking, of Glenn Close boiling bunny rabbits.

But there are also good obsessions. Juan Manuel Marquez has been obsessed for the past three years with fighting Manny Pacquiao a third time, and now that he has the fight, he’s obsessed with officially defeating the man he feels he’s already defeated twice. It’s this unyielding desire to prevail that (a) gives Marquez a better chance of winning than any of Pacquiao’s other recent opponents and (b) all but guarantees a fan-friendly fight.

HBO analyst Emanuel Steward, who will be providing color commentary on Saturday night, called this Marquez’s “dream fight,” a bout he’s been intently focused on for the last three years. He added that when fighters land their dream fights, “they usually take advantage of them.”

If the first two fights are any indication, Marquez will not concede defeat until Pacquiao knocks him unconscious.

“Marquez is so tough,” marveled former fighter Micky Ward, who knows a thing or two about toughness. “He fights better when he’s hurt, and that’s a great trait, you know? I thought [Arturo] Gatti was the closest thing in boxing to Jason [Voorhees, from the Friday The 13th movies]. Then I saw Marquez get up three times against Pacquiao.”

Though Marquez is a sure-shot first-ballot Hall of Famer, he still believes he has a lot to prove. When he fought Pacquiao the first time, in 2004, he had yet to achieve the sort of stardom that his Mexican compatriots Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales had. When he fought Pacquiao the second time, in ’08, he had an upset loss to little-known Chris John to erase from boxing fans’ minds. Coming into Saturday’s third crack at Pac, Marquez is out to redeem himself for a one-sided defeat to Floyd Mayweather.

That’s part of why Steward is predicting another all-out war.

“These guys can’t be boring, because they’re both guys who want to get instant revenge right away for every punch, they both want to have the final say-so,” Steward said. “And remember, Manny got wobbled in those first two fights too. It’s drama anytime these two guys fight. I just can’t see this being a bad fight. There’s a lot of pride involved.”

Pacquiao was asked this week whether it’s a mistake to bring emotion into a fight, as it seems Marquez will. “I think sometimes it’s a mistake,” Pacquiao said. “But sometimes it’s good for a fighter to do that.”

Whether it’s good for him or not, Marquez will fight with some degree of emotion this weekend. He was obsessed with getting a third shot at Pacquiao. And he’s obsessed with finally getting credit for a win over him.

That’s great news for fans of offense-oriented action, regardless of whether it helps or hurts Marquez’s chances of springing the upset.

Emanuel Steward’s Keys To The Fight

By Eric Raskin

Photo Credit: Will HartHall of Fame trainer and manager Emanuel Steward, who will provide analysis of Pacquiao-Marquez III as part of the HBO Pay-Per-View broadcast team on Saturday night, breaks down his three keys to victory for each fighter:

Manny Pacquiao

1. Maintain balance when he punches: With his style of moving in and punching aggressively, Pacquiao risks leaving himself out of position and off balance when he gets done punching. Marquez is a great counterpuncher. Manny has to know that punches are coming back, so he can’t leave himself off balance and exposed after he finishes up his combinations.

2. Punch with full power: Pacquiao has probably about eight pounds of natural weight in his favor. Since the last time he fought Marquez, in 2008, he’s grown into a much bigger fighter. He has to take advantage of that and punch with full power. Remember those three knockdowns in the first round of the first fight? That’s what allowed him to come away with a draw. And Pacquiao’s power edge is going to be very important again in this fight. He cannot just be throwing a volume of punches. He must punch with authority.

3. Utilize his excellent footwork: Marquez is not especially gifted in terms of footwork. Pacquiao is. He has to get in and out and change directions, and really use his foot speed to make it a long night for Marquez.

Juan Manuel Marquez

1. Stay calm and patient: Some fighters have one dream fight that they spend years thinking about. For example, for Floyd Mayweather, that dream fight was against Oscar De La Hoya. This is the dream fight for Marquez. He told me since 2008 that he wanted a third fight with Pacquiao, but he thought he would never get it. Now it’s here. So the key is for him not to get too excited. He has to fight in a patient manner; otherwise he could open himself up for disaster.

2. Use defense to get Pacquiao off balance: We’ve established that Pacquiao wants to maintain his balance. It follows that Marquez wants to take that balance away from him. Sometimes Pacquiao rushes in recklessly, and most of the guys he fights are just blocking the punches, so he gets away with it. But if Marquez just takes a little step back when Manny comes in, he can make him lose his balance and then he can counterpunch when Manny gets out of position. Marquez proved in the first two fights that he’s capable of doing this.

3. Be prepared for Pacquiao’s left hand: Marquez was better prepared for the left hand in the second fight as compared to the first, and he needs to prepare like that again this time. That straight left hand was the punch that knocked Marquez down three times in the first fight. Marquez knows that, of course—you don’t forget something like that. He just can’t lose focus and take his eye off Pacquiao’s left hand. As we all know, Pacquiao can change the direction of a fight with one punch.

 

The Mayweather-Ortiz Fight Week Flurry

By Eric Raskin

Photo: Will HartAs a wild week of commotion, promotion and emotion gives way to Saturday’s Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz showdown, let’s take a look through what everyone’s been buzzing about—from the HBO.com insiders to the fight fans following along:

Mayweather and Ortiz didn’t arrive at this mega-event by accident. They each scored significant wins on the road to “Star Power,” and now find themselves jockeying for position in the upper reaches of the talent-loaded welterweight division. With his sublime skills, Mayweather is the consensus favorite in the fight. But not everyone sees it that way. HBO expert analyst Emanuel Steward broke down the strategic intricacies of the fight and gives Ortiz an excellent chance, and not surprisingly, Ortiz’s promoter, Oscar De La Hoya feels the same way—and has the first-hand experience fighting Mayweather to validate his viewpoints.

But there are countless different ways to analyze a fight beyond just what the industry insiders have to say. You can explore the finer points of the matchup. You can crunch the CompuBox numbers. You can even try to figure out who won the verbal joust at the final press conference.

And when it’s all said and done, you make your predictions. The experts had their say, and unanimously went with the chalk and tabbed Mayweather to win. The fans were a little more divided. On Twitter, @rcollick and @crucifixio picked Mayweather via varying margins, but @odogg33 went with the underdog Ortiz. Meanwhile, on the comment boards on the HBO Inside Boxing blog, Elvin T. took the Ortiz side as well, predicting “Floyd is gonna be looking up at the lights thinking, WTF happened?” But commenter Ish A. envisions a knockout win for Mayweather, claiming “Victor Ortiz is nervous, has no defense, and come Saturday will receive a boxing lesson of a lifetime!”

In addition to the 12 rounds (or less) of Mayweather vs. Ortiz, there’s plenty of before and after to consider. Prior to the main event, we’ll see an intriguing undercard, featuring a plethora of popular Mexican and Mexican-American fighters—many of whom, like Mayweather, come from boxing families. And after the main event is over, attention will inevitably turn to what’s next. No matter the outcome, Manny Pacquiao’s name will be on fight fans’ minds. Two HBO.com contributors explored this in detail on different corners of the web, with Chris Mannix tackling the Pacquiao factor on SI.com and Kieran Mulvaney experiencing Floyd’s many personalities on ESPN.com.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. The opening bell of Mayweather vs. Ortiz is almost here, and there’s nothing more thrilling than that moment when fight week gives way to the fight itself.

Emanuel’s Manual: Steward’s Keys To The Fight

By Eric Raskin

Photo: Will HartHall of Fame trainer and manager and HBO expert analyst Emanuel Steward, who will call the Mayweather-Ortiz fight on Saturday for HBO Pay-Per-View, offers his three keys to victory for each combatant:

Floyd Mayweather

1. Be prepared mentally for a challenge: Facing a young, aggressive, high-intensity fighter unlike anyone that he’s fought in a long time, Floyd has to be mentally ready for the reality of the situation. Probably the last opponent Floyd fought who was this aggressive was Jose Luis Castillo. But Castillo didn’t have the energy and the fire and the explosiveness that this man has. Floyd may have to dig down a little bit deeper than he’s had to recently, when he’s been able to stay in his comfort zone. If he’s not ready for a tough fight, if he’s gotten away from reality with so many people telling him how great he is all the time, then he might not be able to deal with adversity.

2. Place his punches accurately: Floyd can’t let himself get into an output contest, where he’s throwing just to keep pace with Ortiz. Instead, he needs to place his punches and try to slow the pace. He can’t let himself worry about out-hustling Ortiz. He should be doing it with quality instead of quantity.

3. Punch with power: If he’s going to discourage this kid, Floyd is going to have to punch with authority. He has to have full power on his punches. He can’t do that thing he sometimes does where he pulls back as he punches. Even Floyd himself said, “If I had really opened up all the way on Shane Mosley, I would probably have knocked him out.”

Victor Ortiz

1. Force a faster pace: Ortiz isn’t going to be able to let loose quite like he did against Andre Berto, because of Floyd’s style. He’s going to see a guy feinting him and trying to counterpunch, so Ortiz is going to start a little slower, a little more cautious. And that’s okay. But I think as the fight goes on, he’s going to have to pick up his momentum. He’s got to try to make Floyd fight faster than he wants to. I think he’s going to have to get inside on him and push him, rough him up a lot. That’s what messes up a lot of veteran fighters; they’re used to fighting at a certain pace, and when you make them fight faster, they get more exhausted.

2. Don’t be in awe of Mayweather: I really think Ortiz is different than most of Mayweather’s opponents. This boy doesn’t give a damn about Floyd. When they were together, doing press conferences and TV appearances, Mayweather didn’t intimidate this guy like he does other guys. Victor has everything to gain and nothing to lose. Floyd has the superior skills, but Ortiz has the arrogance to match him.

3. Don’t get caught with the counter right hand: When Ortiz fights aggressively, he leaves his head a little high, which means he’s there to be caught with a counter right hand. Floyd has not knocked anybody out with that punch in a long time, but it’s still one of his best punches. Ortiz is physically strong enough to win, but he’s got to be careful not to walk into right hands.