Styles Make Fights: Pacquiao, Marquez, Mayweather and More …

By Kieran Mulvaney

In the wake of Manny Pacquiao’s controversial win over Juan Manuel Marquez on Saturday, promoter Bob Arum underlined the old boxing adage that ‘styles make fights.’ He reminded media at the post-fight press conference that George Foreman thumped Joe Frazier both times they fought, Frazier went nip-and-tuck three times with Muhammad Ali, but Ali took apart Foreman. So what, if anything, does that mean for the Pacquiao-Marquez rivalry, any upcoming HBO clashes and, down the road, a possible Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather superfight?

Pacquiao-Marquez

Photo Credit: Will HartThe third fight underlined what had been well established by the previous two: that Marquez and Pacquiao have each other’s number. Marquez is sufficiently effective to nullify Pacquiao’s strengths, but his style in doing so is unlikely ever to be enough to render him an obvious winner. He is at his best when his opponent comes at him, enabling him to return fire with counterpunching combinations. That can disrupt his foe’s aggression, but sometimes a reliance on sitting back and waiting for your opponent to make his move first, no matter how effective, can make it difficult to clearly elevate yourself over him, at least in the eyes of the judges.

Upcoming HBO Fights

Photo Credit: Ed MulhollandWhat can the ‘styles make fights’ dictum tell us about upcoming HBO matchups? Frankly, that the bouts may be more closely-fought than is immediately apparent. Both Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Saul Alvarez enter their contests as big favorites over Peter Manfredo Jr and Kermit Cintron respectively. But both Mexican fighters are more comfortable against opponents who are there to be hit and willing to exchange, and while Manfredo does not have the quick hands of Sebastian Zbik, who gave Chavez all he could handle recently, he doesn’t have clay feet like Andy Lee, whom JCC Jr sent into retirement last year. And if Alvarez can have early-round problems against blown-up welterweight Alfonso Gomez, he could be in a world of hurt against Cintron – who, as Alfredo Angulo can testify, can be surprisingly dangerous when allowed to box and move. Conversely, Cintron has been known to fold mentally under pressure of the sort Alvarez brings. It all promises genuine intrigue …

Pacquiao-Mayweather

Photo Credit: Ed MulhollandMarquez is a counter-puncher. Mayweather is a counter-puncher. But they are different sides of a similar coin. Marquez thrives on being attacked and responding with flurries; Mayweather seeks to stymie his foe’s offense entirely and pick his man apart with lightning-fast solo punches. Will that have the same effect against Pacquiao as JMM’s counter-combinations? As the dust settles over the coming weeks and months, we should learn whether or not we will soon have the chance to find out for sure, the only way that matters: In the ring.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Defeats Sebastian Zbik

By Peter Owen Nelson

Photo By Ed MulhollandSaturday night at the Los Angeles Staples Center, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. became Mexico’s first middleweight champion, defeating Sebastian Zbik (30-1) for the WBC title in a majority decision (114-114, 115-113, and 116-112).

Neither man is overwhelmingly experienced. The biggest name on either’s resume is Chavez’s own, who largely has been criticized for making a career against stiffs off his father’s hard-fought legacy. Tonight, however, Chavez fought less like a man who inherited a name and more like one who wished to defend its honor.

Read the full story of Chavez’s win over Zbik on HBO.com.

CompuBox Analysis: Zbik vs. Chavez

For Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and his team, Saturday's fight with WBC middleweight titlist Sebastian Zbik was eight years and 43 fights in the making.

First was the three-pronged process of acquiring professional seasoning, building his record and establishing his brand. The result was a glittering 42-0-1 (30 KO) mark, strikingly similar to the 43-0 (37 KO) record his father carried into his first major title fight against Mario Martinez in 1984.

Then there was the deft political maneuvering that removed lineal champion Sergio Martinez from the equation. Martinez, who beat Kelly Pavlik to win the WBC and WBO belts, was stripped and "elevated" to "super" champion and "diamond belt" king while Zbik -- the "interim" beltholder -- was given the "full" WBC strap and the "privilege" of meeting Chavez. The site was the final stroke: Instead of the champion defending before his home fans in Germany, he'll meet Chavez before a heavily Hispanic audience at the Staples Center.  Chavez is a 9-5 favorite.

Will Chavez seize upon this nicely stacked deck or will Zbik overcome the kind of long odds a champion seldom has to face? Their respective CompuBox histories provide strategic options and since Zbik is the champion his blueprint will be presented first:



Read the entire article.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Trainer Freddie Roach Talk Fight Strategy

Photo: Chris Farina

Days before his fighter is set to take on the undefeated Sebastian Zbik, trainer Freddie Roach discussed how they plan to take down the German middleweight. "[Zbik] has a European straight up style and pretty much fights in a straight line," Roach says. "I think our boxing ability is going to give him a lot of trouble. We have looked at thevideo and we are going to use a lot of angles on him." Like every good fighter, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is prepared to put his trainer's strategy into practice. "I think my style is going to be there and my power is going to be there," the 25-year-old Mexican says. "But I have to know how to use it – that’s why we have worked so hard."

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Looks to Step Out of Father’s Shadow Against Sebastian Zbik

By Nat Gottlieb

Photo: Chris Farina

“I don’t know if there have been many sons of great fighters who equaled their fathers,” says HBO analyst Larry Merchant. “They’re always compared against their father’s very high standard, and that is difficult to live up to. Most of the fathers overcame extreme poverty and had a certain kind of hardness because of that. Sons had it a lot easier growing up, and even though they lived in the gym, they didn’t have that kind of hardness inside. They’re able to get to a certain level, able to make some money, but the question remains, will the son also rise?”

Read the rest of the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Sebastian Zbik fight overview on HBO.com.