Commentator Questions: Chavez-Vera II

Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland

More: Stakes High for Rematch | HBO Boxing Podcast | CompuBox

What type of fight can fans expect the second time around for Chavez-Vera?

Jim Lampley: The style of the fight can't change: Vera trying to press the action and use greater energy and activity to outwork Chavez for a decision victory, while Chavez takes his time and selects counterpunching opportunities to land big shots, hoping to wear down Vera and set him up for a knockout. It should be lively and physical. If Chavez appears to have been responsible in his approach to making weight and preparing for the bout, the San Antonio crowd will support him. If not, they won't.

Max Kellerman: A fan-friendly fight. Whether or not Chavez has properly rededicated himself, he has an essentially offensive style. And Vera, feeling he was robbed the first time, can be expected to be highly motivated and ready to give the best account of himself possible.

Andre Ward: I think we can expect the same Bryan Vera we saw in the first fight. I believe that the Vera we saw the first fight, I think that's probably the best Vera we are going to see. We are going to see a much more motivated, better conditioned and more focused Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I think that's going to erase all the doubts from the first fight. I can see him stopping Vera in the mid to late rounds in this fight. 

How well does amateur pedigree translate to professional success and what are your expectations for Lomachenko as a pro fighter?

Jim Lampley: Amateur pedigree is the absolute surest predictor of professional success. Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker, Floyd Mayweather, Evander Holyfield, Wladimir Klitschko, Gennady Golovkin, Guillermo Rigondeaux were all Olympic medalists, just a partial list. Lomachenko is arguably the most successful amateur fighter of all time. He will have a successful and significant pro career, win or lose vs Orlando Salido.

Max Kellerman: Amateur pedigree among fighters who come from nations with significant amateur programs is the single most positively correlated factor in predicting professional success. Lomachenko has a chance to one day, in the not too distant future, be in the pound for pound conversation.

Andre Ward: A strong amateur background, especially an amateur career like Lomachenko's, a two-time gold medalist, can hurt or help you. It can hurt you because you're locked in to an amateur system for so long and the pro game is totally different. It can help you if you are able to break the amateur style fast enough. That type of amateur pedigree can put you on the fast track in the pro game and with fewer fights than a normal fighter. Obviously Lomachenko has only one fight and is fighting for a title against Orlando Salido, who is a veteran and a crafty fighter. That shows the kind of confidence that Lomachenko and his handlers have. It will be interesting to see how this plays out because I don't think anything like this has been done before.

Oscar hops on the phone, Martinez gets his man, and the Cotto-Margarito war begins early

By Kieran Mulvaney

Kieran Mulvaney reads between the lines of a few of the latest stories in the boxing…

Photo: Will HartThey Said: Nine days after his controversial knockout by Floyd Mayweather, Victor Ortiz held a conference call with reporters on Monday. Ortiz insisted that the knockout blow, which came while Ortiz was evidently trying to apologize (for the third time, it should be emphasized) for a headbutt that had just earned him a point deduction, was “a cheap shot.” Mayweather, he insisted, “is not respected by me and never will be in my eyes as a pound-for-pound fighter.”

I Say: That call, which also included Ortiz’s manager and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya, all three insisting that Ortiz was winning the fight until the knockout and demanding a rematch, was ill-advised. Ortiz lost virtually every moment of that fight; he needs simply to accept he was taught a painful but valuable lesson by a masterful veteran, pick up his career and fight his way back to the top. He’s done it before. He can do it again.


They Said: Speaking in advance of his middleweight title defense on HBO on Saturday, Sergio Martinez complimented Darren Barker for rising to the challenge. “The fact that Barker is willing to step up and put his undefeated record on the line shows you that he has a lot of heart and that he is a true warrior, which isn't the case for all fighters,” he said.

I Say: It’s a strange state of affairs when the middleweight champion has to express gratitude for having a willing challenger, but such is the curious case of Martinez. Several other potential opponents appeared to have other pressing appointments that prevented them from fighting for the middleweight crown, which is a sign of just how good Martinez is. Credit to Barker and his promoter, who threw down the gauntlet over Twitter, where it was rapidly picked up by Martinez and promoter Lou DiBella. (You can read more about the fight in Eric Raskin’s overview on


They Said: “Just finished Cotto-Margarito II Face Off. Oh. My. God.” @Max_Kellerman, September 22.

I Say: The back story for the December 3 rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito writes itself: Margarito’s brutal beatdown victory was his finest hour but it was tarnished six months later by the discovery, prior to the Mexican’s fight against Shane Mosley, of tampered hand wraps. Cotto has long made it clear that he believes Margarito cheated against him that night in July 2008, and for years was unwilling to fight him again. As Kellerman’s tweet underlines, the hate between the two burns fiercely, increasing anticipation for the rematch two months from now.

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