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Thread: Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

  1. #1
    Senior Member oubobcat's Avatar
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    Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

    Ricky Burns (-225) vs. Julius Indongo (+175)

    Burns-Indongo is one of the toughest fights I have ever seen to handicap in this sport. The reason is that there is just so much unknown about Indongo. I have been doing some digging and the more I research the more this gets even tougher. Indongo, going into his last fight with Troyanovsky, was supposedly not known as being a puncher. He was supposed to use movement and try to out hustle Troyanovsky. So what happens? One minute into the fight Indongo stands right in front of Troyanovsky and knocks him out cold with one left hand.

    After the Kevin Mitchell win, Burns struggled in his immediate fights afterwards. He was fortunate Jose Gonzalez retired after round nine, even more unfortunate to get a gift wrapped draw against Raymundo Beltran and then out classed by Terence Crawford. In his first fight post Crawford, he was beaten by Dejan Zlaticanin (more thoroughly than the judges said). But after the Zlaticanin, Burns has looked better. He has had some solid performances and many thought (myself included) he got a bad wrap against Omar Figueroa. Burns has been fighting much better at 140 and looking a bit resurgent. But father time is not on his side and seemingly at any moment he could look old.

    I asked some folks on twitter this week about this fight including some who are covering the event. And those who are there have told me a couple things. One, Indongo is extremely confident. And it does not appear to be a false bravado. Two, many are admittedly fans of Burns and saying they are nervous about this fight for him.

    Indongo's best wins of his career have come in his last seven fights. Four of those wins are by knockout. I am thinking the power is more legit than the record indicates. Maybe not necessarily one punch power, though he did do that his last time out, but legitimate power that will get an opponent's respect. He is also the more natural Super Lightweight and from the little tape I have seen is certainly the quicker fighter. The line screams bias for the hometown favorite and my biggest concern would be the judges. But it sounds like a mild upset could be brewing tonight in Scotland.

    Sullivan Barrera (-1800) vs. Paul Parker (+850)

    Like many people when this fight was made I assumed it was no more than a tune up/stay busy fight for Barrera. But watching tape of Parker, I have ever so slightly changed my thinking a little. Not enough to say I think he wins but enough to say he has a better chance than many feel.

    Many of us remember Parker from his fight with Vyacheslav Shabransky. Parker nearly had Shabransky ko'd in a shocker before Shabransky rallied back to ko Parker in round 3. What Parker showed in that fight was quick hands and sharp punching ability. But he also gassed himself going so hard for the ko (and nearly got it) and an exhausted Parker was steamrolled by Shabransky in round 3.

    Next time out, Parker beat a very solid guy in Lionell Thompson. Also had Thompson down in that fight. Parker out quicked Thompson, showed good hand speed and paced himself much better than in the Shabransky fight.

    Look, Barrera is the more skilled fighter of the two. But Barrera has been hurt before including in his last fight to Shabransky. When Barrera has looked great, it has been against slow footed plodding type fighters (Murat and Shabransky). How will he handle the speed of Parker? My guess is in the end the skills of Barrera do prevail. But he won't look good and may get pushed. And an upset, albeit a long shot but, is not out of the question. At +850, Parker may be worth a small play with his ability to hurt fighters early and Barrera's somewhat suspect set of whiskers.

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    Re: Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

    You got it right Matt.

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    Senior Member oubobcat's Avatar
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    Re: Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Blast View Post
    You got it right Matt.
    Thanks, keep an eye out for Parker tonight. He is a live 8-1 underdog, at the very least think he makes things interesting.

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    Senior Member oubobcat's Avatar
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    Re: Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Blast View Post
    You got it right Matt.
    Thanks, keep an eye out for Parker tonight. He is a live 8-1 underdog, at the very least think he makes things interesting.

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    Senior Member stormcentre's Avatar
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    Re: Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

    There is a *reason that Parker is given hardly any (meaningful) chance to beat Barerra; ~ 10%.

    Sure Parker beat Thompson by a split decision.

    But Lionell went into that fight after fighting Hanshaw, whom himself was pretty inexperienced and not a true measure of Thompson’s worth.

    Prior to that, Lionell lost to Kalajdzic; whom is far off of Barerra’s quality.

    There is *nothing Thompson does better than Barerra, and I am not even sure Parker is a live underdog.



    Cheers,

    Storm.


  6. #6
    Senior Member stormcentre's Avatar
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    Re: Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

    Quote Originally Posted by stormcentre View Post
    There is a *reason that Parker is given hardly any (meaningful) chance to beat Barerra; ~ 10%.

    Sure Parker beat Thompson by a split decision.

    But Lionell went into that fight after fighting Hanshaw, whom himself was pretty inexperienced and not a true measure of Thompson’s worth.

    Prior to that, Lionell lost to Kalajdzic; whom is far off of Barerra’s quality.

    There is *nothing Thompson does better than Barerra, and I am not even sure Parker is a live underdog.



    Cheers,

    Storm.


    That said . . . .

    In easily beating Parker last weekend . . . .

    Barerra, really didn't look too flash, did he?


    In fact . . .

    At times, he actually looked quite desperate, unprofessional, and terrible . . .





    So, given that . . .

    Perhaps then some sort of revision is due on my part.



    Actually, on second thoughts . . .

    No!


    I think not.



    No deep revision from Storm on this one.


    As, Parker still brought nothing (aside from height and reach; that is) meaningful to the table that Sullivan (as crude as he obviously was {and he was crude}) could not deal with.



    Instead, from it all, we can (possibly) now see why Sullivan, previously - back at the start of the year - (despite saying otherwise, really) didn't want any part of Beterbiev.

    I mean, despite all the "argy-bargy" that obviously went back/forth between Sullivan and Beterbiev (and their respective camps/promoters) about who was at fault for the fight falling through the cracks . . . . .



    The fact of the matter is that Barrera . . . . .

    Instead of facing Beterbeiv.

    Or, someone else whom was a genuine challenge.

    Actually went on to fight someone - whom (in my opinion) - is really only a few levels up from a very competent club fighter.


    And, let's not kid ourselves about just how many technical/fundamental boxing mistakes Parker exhibits as he executes his game.


    All due respect goes out to Parker.

    As, he is the one stepping in the ring.

    He's the one taking the shots/risks.

    And, he is the one in there fighting.



    But, with all that said . . .

    Top class light heavyweight fighter and/or 70% of an Artur Beterbiev substitute; Parker is not.



    And, I don't hear Sullivan and/or Sanchez crying about how they lost the chance to fight Beterbiev and prove themselves.


    Which, ordinarily might not necessarily be a big cause for concern, had Barrera;

    A) Not openly claimed that the Beterbiev fight fell through due to no fault (or fear) of his own.


    B) Simply come right off the back of Beterbiev's (supposed/claimed) declination to meet him; and (in order to stay both ready and sharp at the top level) both sought out and also settled for nothing less/other than a quality substitute opponent . . .

    One, whom was;


    (i) Competent, experienced, and accomplished.


    (ii) Acceptable for the level that Barrera is said to operate at.


    Enough so, that (when the fight against Barrera was finalized) the opponent was given, at least, better odds (to win) than ~ 10%; and the almost certain and foreseen outcome that it clearly represents.





    And sure . . .

    Perhaps (if given the chance) team Barrera/Sanchez will tell us (all they like) that no-one else of decent ilk and value was available on short notice (after the Beterbiev fight fell through) for Sullivan.


    But . .

    Still the fact remains that (somehow) they were all happy little possums to willingly engage in a contest with Parker.

    A contest that draws such a stark and total contrast to what it was (earlier this year) that originally got us excited and interested in seeing Barrera perform.

    And, as we all know . .

    That was a fight between Sullivan Barrera and Artur Beterbiev.



    Parker (as both, the odds for the fight and also the chances of Parker winning, screamed accurately and loudly), when it is all said and done; is really a far, far, cry from Artur Beterbiev.

    As such . . .

    Just as fighting Beterbiev was probably a move of similar magnitude, but in the opposite direction to Parker . . .

    I really don't know how Barrera thought that fighting Parker was a good career move for him.

    As (within the context of progressing Barrera's career and/or advancing any opinion of his ability on the championship scene) fighting Parker doesn't really do much other than tell us that Sullivan (even when operating down at Parker's level) can't always bring his "A" game to a fight . . . . .

    A fight, that itself was (effectively) a contest and/or substitute boxing match for another before it, one that;

    A) Previously involved a far, far, more competent and dangerous opponent.


    B) Somehow supposedly/mysteriously fell through; due to (or, so we are told) absolutely no fault of Barrera's.


    C) Itself, easily constitutes a fight that was a significantly more difficult task for Barrera than that Parker presented.

    In fact, I suspect that this would be the case so much so that, even if twice the skills (that Sullivan brought to the table last weekend when against Parker) were somehow transported into the ring with him and employed in an effort to beat Beterbiev; it still would not successfully work.




    As such . . .

    We can all now be assured that, at night, Sullivan Barrera can (no doubt) sleep a little easier.


    Now, that he knows he doesn't have to face someone that's actually considerably better than the guy whom is currently top dog at his own gym; Triple.




    Actually . . .

    Now that I think of it.

    I think I recall, my initial reaction and thoughts when that (potential) fight (Barrera V Beterbiev) was first announced.




    Looking (back in time and) into my crystal ball . . .

    I recall that at that time that the fight between Barrera and Beterbiev was announced, I immediately wondered . . .

    "What on earth was Sanchez and Barrera thinking and/or doing"?


    In fact, right here within this very forum, I believe I even said words similar to that effect.





    Look . . .

    It's not all gloom and doom.


    I mean, sure, (if the the fight between Barrera and Beterbiev was ever to become a reality) some credit should obviously slide across the table and over to Sullivan Barrera.

    After all, he could - in that scenario - take some credit and appreciation for seemingly taking on some of the big challenges within his weight division; such as Artur Beterbiev.

    As, Artur certainly fits that ( "big challenge" ) bill/description.



    But . . .

    And (for anyone interested in the light heavyweight {or thereabouts} division) this simply just has to be said . . .

    In Barrera (supposedly) doing so (and taking on the big challenges; with a Beterbiev fight); the fact of the matter was that the very suggestion of Barrera (supposedly) fighting Beterbiev also revealed just how abundantly clear it was that with the choice of Sullivan (seemingly) electing to travel down that path . . .

    Would have almost certainly marked out a move that was (for Barrera himself) perceivably akin to self authored career suicide.


    And, that's not very smart.



    Not in the least as . . . .

    The Sullivan Barrera that recklessly beat (and I might add, did so with very, very, little "boxing savoir-faire") Paul Parker last weekend . . .

    Well . .


    There's no doubt in my mind that when it comes to that version of Sullivan Barrera . . .

    The reality is that Artur Beterbiev would have easily (and I mean easily); walked, timed, punched, smiled, and chopped his way right through him.



    Like a dose of salts.


    One guy would be playing chess, and the other checkers.



    The way Barrera, last weekend was (even with a fighter of Parker's caliber) regularly . . .

    Off balance - swinging - lunging - missing - desperately looking for big shots - and, also, (within some exchanges) displaying clear signs of (in a championship sense) what appeared to be an unwillingness to properly assess the threat/situation and capitalize on it in the most purposeful way . . . .

    Well, it was such that Barrera's performance actually led me to believe that Artur Beterbiev (had he faced the same Barrera as Parker did that night) would have probably easily stopped/dropped Barrera.



    Probably before 10 rounds too.



    In my opinion Sullivan Barrera (when/if he chooses to take on some of the bigger names of the division and in doing so meaningfully progress his career) certainly will not want to make too many of the same unnecessary and embarrassing technical errors that he frequently exhibited last weekend whilst in with (the much lesser) Paul Parker.



    In my opinion (at the championship level) Sullivan Barrera has a lot of mistakes to repair.


    I think he'd best be served by meaningfully looking at how he can resolve some of those vulnerabilities and issues.

    At least before he even thinks of heading back out into the really deep (Beterbiev/Kovalev) waters, again.



    I know that (even given that he beat Parker by stoppage last weekend) if I were training and/or responsible for Barrera, I would definitely not be happy with his entire performance against Parker.

    Sure the outcome is good.

    But, I would be prescribing some corrective action for the liabilities.


    And (due to the many unnecessary vulnerabilities Barrera exhibited, including how wide open he was when he attacked, lunged, and haphazardly scored/missed) that corrective action would both, become effective immediately and accompany a few weeks of technical tuition.

    I would do that to ensure that it is really clear just how dangerous some of his bad habits have become.



    Sullivan, (in my opinion) needs to look at; his defence - balance- how high his head is when he throws - he needs to also consider varying the speed/power on his punches so the predictability factor is lowered - and (last but not least) he should also revise how squared up (and wide) he (sometimes) becomes.

    And, this should all happen, at least, before he starts seriously looking at becoming a dominant force within (the deep waters of the) light heavyweight division.



    The justification and/or substantiation for (some of) this criticism comes from the fact that for much of the fight (while it lasted) last weekend Parker was (in addition to being relatively easy to counter, also) quite sloppy.

    What I am saying is that during the last few rounds (possibly more) Parker was pretty much there as a canvass for Barrera to portray his best art/work on; but, due to how poorly composed he was, Barrera abjectly failed to do so.



    However . . .

    Despite all this - and rather than Barrera simply capitalizing on Parker's sloppy/vulnerable approach and its many inherent weaknesses (even, for one third of the time) that frequently manifested themselves throughout almost every round - what Sullivan Barrera often did, was . . .

    He embarrassingly followed suit, and fought down to Parker's level.

    Even when it was completely unnecessary.



    And, in doing so Sullivan;

    A) Not only, showed us all how easily he can sometimes be misdirected and/or sidetracked (albeit by a far, far, less competent and dangerous opponent than he was originally scheduled to fight); such that he becomes noticeably distracted, uncoordinated, sloppy, and also unnecessarily vulnerable.


    B) But also (even within those final moments/rounds that Parker still persisted as an opponent that punched back despite being unable to win), he revealed to us that (despite all the advantages he actually held over Parker) Barrera can sometimes still allow himself to descend right down to another fighter's level; one that he really has no requirement to inhabit.

    And, last weekend, this seemed particularly true for those circumstances during the early stages of the (limited) fight where the combination of Paul Parker's approach and also his conduct itself presented as a style conundrum that was (whilst, perhaps not enormously difficult for the dedicated boxer to decipher - nonetheless still seemed {for Barrera}) slightly harder than Barrera expected and/or cared for.



    Or perhaps, better put . . .

    Last weekend, the combination of Paul Parker's boxing style, his resilience, and also some of his other fighting attributes . . .

    Seemed to present themselves to Sullivan Barrera in a way where . . .

    It soon became reasonably obvious to me (and this is despite Barrera {stepping right down [from Beterbiev] from his usual operational level for the Paul Parker fight} clearly being the superior boxer in almost every respect to Parker) that Sullivan Barrera actually found the degree of (perhaps unexpected) uncomfortability that Parker and his style presented, to be simply too much of a distraction.


    And, to be so easily distracted . . .

    Especially to the point where it obviously created several vulnerabilities/mistakes that were representative of a cluster of red flags.

    By a fighter like Parker.

    A fighter that . . .

    Really, if we're serious, is just not (or was not meant to be) on Barrera's level.

    Well, that's is not a good thing at all.



    And, based on achievements and experience alone; there is simply no way that Parker is on (where) Barrera's level (is said to be).



    As such, I actually think that the biggest "reveal" associated with last weekend's Barrera V Parker fight, is not the fact that Sullivan stopped Parker.

    As he was really expected to do that.


    Instead . . .

    I actually think the biggest "reveal" associated with the Barrera V Parker fight was actually how easily Sullivan Barrera allowed himself (with a far, far, lesser {than Beterbiev} opponent in front of him) to drift off, stray into dangerous waters, and adopt a seriously reckless and goofy style; all as he became increasingly desperate to beat and stop Parker - no matter what.


    Furthermore, in some ways, you can (and I do) make a case that there is simply no excuse for it.

    Not at Barrera's level.

    Particularly, when it's straight off the back of the Beterbiev V Barrera fight falling through; and all the bravado we heard from the Barrera camp about how that eventuated.



    I mean . .

    Even considering how less experienced and accomplished Parker really is (especially in comparison to Barrera or Beterbiev) . . .

    The fact of the matter is that Parker still presented as the perfect opportunity and candidate (for Sullivan Barrera), to;

    A) Not only; *get some much needed rounds in and/or run through some of the catalog of his technical (and/or fast twitch/reflex) expertise.


    B) But to *also;

    (i) Practice some of his (and/or boxing's) own *finer moves.

    You know the ones . . . .

    The ones that (especially when you're in with a genuine top operator; say, like, like Beterbiev) you just don't always get the chance to practice and execute.

    Certainly not with the same low risk profile that Parker had quickly worked himself down to and offered up, last weekend.


    (ii) Showcase and/or deliver a *technical performance and/or exhibition to all in attendance and/or those watching via broadcast, that (utilizes the opportunity you have and) removes any doubt (including that that may be associated with how Barrera's camp explained how the Beterbiev fight supposedly fell through) as to whether you really belong in the upper tier of the light heavyweight championship mix.



    Yet, regardless of all this, instead Barrera strangely sought not to seize the rare moment and opportunity for what it really was.

    Which, was surely nothing other than a great stage and chance to push his own personal stock higher; in a manner that offset any potential (and justifiable) drop in value that was itself directly associated with the obvious contrast between (Beterbiev and Parker as) opponents.



    Instead . . .


    And, mind you . .

    This is all, despite, how easily;


    A) A well executed (and relaxed) jab; from Barrera.


    B) Combined with both;

    (i) A selective assortment of right hands (unpredictably originating from various distances); that, in all reality, were actually available and (in many cases) right there for Sullivan to both, exploit and take advantage of; with far more style than he chose to exhibit on the night in question.

    (ii) Several well placed body shots that (would have kept Parker damaged and doing as expected, and) were also - just as with the punches/opportunities mentioned above - also clearly available to Barrera; should he have calmed down.


    Would have most likely, delivered on many of the above *criteria.

    Perhaps, effectively utilizing the above opportunities when they were actually available would have (as they delivered on many of the above *criteria) also advanced Barrera's interests and primary reasons for remaining in the fight game.

    Including those related to providing both, positive and the correct (performance based) impressions.

    That are themselves - almost always - closely associated with impressing and earning the broadcasting, network, and PPV, dollars; that Barrera surely longs for.




    Instead, Barrera simply wasted the golden opportunity given to him.

    And he did so because - from a situation that he eventually earned total control of to do as he pleased - somehow (as he rushed to end the night's festivities) he still (in complete absence of any significantly forced errors that Parker may have authored) managed to expose weaknesses and flaws in his own approach.

    Flaws that many other operators and fighters at his level would have long eliminated.

    And, considering that the opportunity (with Parker) was actually provided to him courtesy of (the combination of the Beterbiev fight falling through {which then made way for the much easier one against Parker} and) his own team's matchmaking . .

    It's even worse.

    As, despite all the opportunities that Parker eventually presented for Barrera to;


    A) Exercise technique and skills that are usually hard to practice on the big stage.


    B) Shine" and showcase himself safely to a wide audience whilst in the face of reduced risk.


    To some extent what Barrera really did was the very opposite.


    Furthermore, in missing the boat and doing this, unfortunately Sullivan also allowed himself to get ragged around the edges.

    And as that happened he was (both, stylistically and performance-wise) then dragged down to another fighter's level; one that has very little (big Benjamin) bargaining power.

    And, despite having absolutely no reason to go down there, and having every reason under the sun to stylistically capitalize on the opportunity Parker provided . .

    Barrera pretty much rushed to go (and operate) down there.


    So much so that it was almost as if Parker's own (predictable) decline into somewhat of an over-reaching, sloppy, club fighting style, was itself seen as an invitation to Barrera (that proved too much to refuse) to; relax, lower the boxing standard, and be noticeably less professional.




    This is championship level critique here folks.

    But, given how desperate Barrera is to advance his career and impress . .

    Talk about a wasted opportunity and bad advertising.

    So much more could have been done.

    And the impression we were left with could have - very easily - been more classy than the quick and dirty second hand needle rushed to the bruised vein that it was.





    So . .

    In consideration of all the above . . .

    I say that Sullivan Barrera almost made his last weekend's stoppage win (over Parker) look a little dubious.

    It's not often that, as a guy wins (whether or not it be by stoppage) he unnecessarily exposes himself in the manner that Barrera did.



    Opportunities within the sport to showcase yourself in an atmosphere of reduced risk don't come along that often to simply waste them.

    But (whether or not they're straight off the back of a previous fight associated with greater danger falling through and whether or not the new substitute bout possesses the potential to repair and/or embellish the perception of that negative circumstance) when they do come alone . . .

    To simply utilize them in manner that exposes your lack of championship composure and self control . .

    What can you say about that?


    There was so much (more and better) that Barrera could have done with Parker, last weekend.

    Rather than (what he did, which was) to unnecessarily expose just how desperate he was (to throw technique out the window in order) to both, stop a guy and waste a well spectated situation that could have easily been made to serve as a technical showcase of Barrera's abilities and composure.



    As such . . .

    If he is to meaningfully transition into the elite class of his weight division; the fact of the matter is that, firstly, there probably is a few critical areas/problems that Sullivan Barrera needs to work, and improve, on.

    Part of the problem, is (as mentioned above) Barrera has let a few bad habits creep into his style.

    And, from the hastily manner that Barrera pulls them out and/or resorts to them; they do seem as if they have been taking up residence within his boxing repertoire for quite a while now.

    They certainly are not new and/or temporary visitors.


    Not if (a gassed) Paul Parker (whose in retreat) can entice them to come out and reveal themselves.


    Another factor to consider may be that Barrera's quite possibly going stale up at the Summit gym.

    Unless, of course, Sanchez is successfully tutoring him to such an extent that (despite the bulk knowledge transfer that takes place) what Barrera actually learns from this has no meaningful place within his performances; due to physical storage limitations.


    I have always said that, (within reason) change is always good.

    Additionally, I am not sure that it's healthy for the heavier/bigger guys (particularly those with truly elite championship aspirations) to always play second fiddle to the lighter ones in a gym.


    For a while it probably works OK; so long as the fighters improve and get better.

    But, does it continue to work in the same productive manner for years?

    Especially when the light heavyweight talent pool is as deep as it is at the top right now?




    So . .

    If, Sullivan Barrera ({rather than, say, using sound boxing acumen and logic, instead he} allows himself to be guided by finances and the lure of the big dollars; and as such he) decides to venture up into the elite light heavyweight woods.

    Where, say, Ward, Sergey, and Artur Beterbiev, walk . . .


    Well then . .

    If he does that, and he does it without first addressing the (above-mentioned) fundamental issues that were exposed last weekend by Parker . .

    Then I genuinely fear that . . . .

    Many of the sharp amateur skills (and advantages) that Barrera used to previously possess and easily employ . . .

    Well . .

    Sadly, they simply won't always be within his repertoire for him to fall back on when needed, anymore.




    What's perhaps even more alarming than that . . .

    No-one (Sanchez included) seems too bothered about it.


    After all . . .

    Not sure (or not) if anyone noticed, but . . .

    Last weekend (during the Parker V Barrera fight) I didn't hear too many people (in between rounds) vehemently advising Barrera about these mistakes and how (important it was) to correct them.


    Especially since;

    A) Parker is (in almost every boxing/worthwhile respect) a very long, long, way off of what Beterbiev would have (in the event that Barrera actually found himself standing across the ring from him) most likely represented.

    B) We have, to date, been told (in no uncertain terms) that the real reason that Sullivan Barrera was unable to fight Beterbiev;

    (i) Supposedly has no direct relationship to Barrera.

    (ii) Is not Sullivan Barrera's fault.



    Furthermore, another part of the fragmented problem (for Barrera and his career advancement) is that . . . .

    Ward, Kovalev, and Beterbeiv, themselves are also light heavyweights.


    And, none of them (save for perhaps Sergey Kovalev) really seem to easily leak, spill out, and/or exhibit the same kind of rookie vulnerabilities and unnecessarily liabilities, when fighting; in the manner that Barrera did last weekend as he desperately and loosely rallied to stop Parker.

    Furthermore, they (Ward, Kovalev, and Beterbeiv) certainly don't exhibit such a rich vein of liabilities when in against the kind of competition that Parker represents.


    What's more, even though Kovalev himself may exhibit some liabilities when engaged and in the heat of the moment . . .

    He always has that serious "heavy duty" power.

    That (aside from being effective even at the elite level, also) also happens to be a great equalizer.


    Conversely . . .

    Barrera (sometimes) wastes energy and therefore power.

    But, the fact that he does it at levels within the sport that are lower than both, his ranking and personal aspirations . . .

    Well, that tells another story all together.




    Frankly . . .

    I really don't think (at this stage of his career) that there is a great deal that Sullivan Barrera can do about all this.


    It's a very harsh assessment, I know.

    Especially on the back of a stoppage win.




    Barrera, in some ways, reminds me of (the previous Kostya Tszyu opponent) Hurtado.

    Both, Hurtado's style and also his demeanor didn't quite translate across into the professional ranks.

    And, this became increasingly obvious as the competition and pace was stepped up.





    Yes . . .

    If nothing else, it will certainly be very interesting to see how Ward and/or Kovalev respond to the threat that Beterbiev presents; over the upcoming 18 or so months.


    Beterbiev - as he inches his career forward - certainly brings more than just a little bit of danger and risk along with him.





    Finally . . .

    And this one is for all the boxing purists and combat sport/style impresarios out there in TSS forum land . . .


    If you ever get a chance . . .

    Take a look sometime at some of Beterbiev's intense pre-fight workouts.

    Including his strength and conditioning routines.


    As, it's;

    A) Not only, very, very, impressive and inspiring.


    B) But also, it's a frightening insight into what's in store (competition-wise) for any upcoming opponent.




    Personally, I don't think (not even for for a second) that Beterbiev really believes in his own mind that either Ward or Kovalev would last 12 rounds with him.


    And . . .

    Based on current form, I am not entirely sure that I could mount a decent argument to the contrary of that.






    Cheers,

    Storm.







  7. #7
    Senior Member stormcentre's Avatar
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    Re: Handicapping This Weekend's Fights

    Quote Originally Posted by stormcentre View Post
    There is a *reason that Parker is given hardly any (meaningful) chance to beat Barerra; ~ 10%.

    Sure Parker beat Thompson by a split decision.

    But Lionell went into that fight after fighting Hanshaw, whom himself was pretty inexperienced and not a true measure of Thompson’s worth.

    Prior to that, Lionell lost to Kalajdzic; whom is far off of Barerra’s quality.

    There is *nothing Thompson does better than Barerra, and I am not even sure Parker is a live underdog.



    Cheers,

    Storm.


    That said . . . .

    In easily beating Parker last weekend . . . .

    Barerra, really didn't look too flash, did he?


    In fact . . .

    At times, he actually looked quite desperate, unprofessional, and terrible . . .





    So, given that . . .

    Perhaps then some sort of revision is due on my part.



    Actually, on second thoughts . . .

    No!


    I think not.



    No deep revision from Storm on this one.


    As, Parker still brought nothing (aside from height and reach; that is) meaningful to the table that Sullivan (as crude as he obviously was {and he was crude}) could not deal with.



    Instead, from it all, we can (possibly) now see why Sullivan, previously - back at the start of the year - (despite saying otherwise, really) didn't want any part of Beterbiev.

    I mean, despite all the "argy-bargy" that obviously went back/forth between Sullivan and Beterbiev (and their respective camps/promoters) about who was at fault for the fight falling through the cracks . . . . .



    The fact of the matter is that Barrera . . . . .

    Instead of facing Beterbeiv.

    Or, someone else whom was a genuine challenge.

    Actually went on to fight someone - whom (in my opinion) - is really only a few levels up from a very competent club fighter.


    And, let's not kid ourselves about just how many technical/fundamental boxing mistakes Parker exhibits as he executes his game.


    All due respect goes out to Parker.

    As, he is the one stepping in the ring.

    He's the one taking the shots/risks.

    And, he is the one in there fighting.



    But, with all that said . . .

    Top class light heavyweight fighter and/or 70% of an Artur Beterbiev substitute; Parker is not.



    And, I don't hear Sullivan and/or Sanchez crying about how they lost the chance to fight Beterbiev and prove themselves.


    Which, ordinarily might not necessarily be a big cause for concern, had Barrera;

    A) Not openly claimed that the Beterbiev fight fell through due to no fault (or fear) of his own.


    B) Simply come right off the back of Beterbiev's (supposed/claimed) declination to meet him; and (in order to stay both ready and sharp at the top level) both sought out and also settled for nothing less/other than a quality substitute opponent . . .

    One, whom was;


    (i) Competent, experienced, and accomplished.


    (ii) Acceptable for the level that Barrera is said to operate at.


    Enough so, that (when the fight against Barrera was finalized) the opponent was given, at least, better odds (to win) than ~ 10%; and the almost certain and foreseen outcome that it clearly represents.





    And sure . . .

    Perhaps (if given the chance) team Barrera/Sanchez will tell us (all they like) that no-one else of decent ilk and value was available on short notice (after the Beterbiev fight fell through) for Sullivan.


    But . .

    Still the fact remains that (somehow) they were all happy little possums to willingly engage in a contest with Parker.

    A contest that draws such a stark and total contrast to what it was (earlier this year) that originally got us excited and interested in seeing Barrera perform.

    And, as we all know . .

    That was a fight between Sullivan Barrera and Artur Beterbiev.



    Parker (as both, the odds for the fight and also the chances of Parker winning, screamed accurately and loudly), when it is all said and done; is really a far, far, cry from Artur Beterbiev.

    As such . . .

    Just as fighting Beterbiev was probably a move of similar magnitude, but in the opposite direction to Parker . . .

    I really don't know how Barrera thought that fighting Parker was a good career move for him.

    As (within the context of progressing Barrera's career and/or advancing any opinion of his ability on the championship scene) fighting Parker doesn't really do much other than tell us that Sullivan (even when operating down at Parker's level) can't always bring his "A" game to a fight . . . . .

    A fight, that itself was (effectively) a contest and/or substitute boxing match for another before it, one that;

    A) Previously involved a far, far, more competent and dangerous opponent.


    B) Somehow supposedly/mysteriously fell through; due to (or, so we are told) absolutely no fault of Barrera's.


    C) Itself, easily constitutes a fight that was a significantly more difficult task for Barrera than that Parker presented.

    In fact, I suspect that this would be the case so much so that, even if twice the skills (that Sullivan brought to the table last weekend when against Parker) were somehow transported into the ring with him and employed in an effort to beat Beterbiev; it still would not successfully work.




    As such . . .

    We can all now be assured that, at night, Sullivan Barrera can (no doubt) sleep a little easier.


    Now, that he knows he doesn't have to face someone that's actually considerably better than the guy whom is currently top dog at his own gym; Triple.




    Actually . . .

    Now that I think of it.

    I think I recall, my initial reaction and thoughts when that (potential) fight (Barrera V Beterbiev) was first announced.




    Looking (back in time and) into my crystal ball . . .

    I recall that at that time that the fight between Barrera and Beterbiev was announced, I immediately wondered . . .

    "What on earth was Sanchez and Barrera thinking and/or doing"?


    In fact, right here within this very forum, I believe I even said words similar to that effect.





    Look . . .

    It's not all gloom and doom.


    I mean, sure, (if the the fight between Barrera and Beterbiev was ever to become a reality) some credit should obviously slide across the table and over to Sullivan Barrera.

    After all, he could - in that scenario - take some credit and appreciation for seemingly taking on some of the big challenges within his weight division; such as Artur Beterbiev.

    As, Artur certainly fits that ( "big challenge" ) bill/description.



    But . . .

    And (for anyone interested in the light heavyweight {or thereabouts} division) this simply just has to be said . . .

    In Barrera (supposedly) doing so (and taking on the big challenges; with a Beterbiev fight); the fact of the matter was that the very suggestion of Barrera (supposedly) fighting Beterbiev also revealed just how abundantly clear it was that with the choice of Sullivan (seemingly) electing to travel down that path . . .

    Would have almost certainly marked out a move that was (for Barrera himself) perceivably akin to self authored career suicide.


    And, that's not very smart.



    Not in the least as . . . .

    The Sullivan Barrera that recklessly beat (and I might add, did so with very, very, little "boxing savoir-faire") Paul Parker last weekend . . .

    Well . .


    There's no doubt in my mind that when it comes to that version of Sullivan Barrera . . .

    The reality is that Artur Beterbiev would have easily (and I mean easily); walked, timed, punched, smiled, and chopped his way right through him.



    Like a dose of salts.


    One guy would be playing chess, and the other checkers.



    The way Barrera, last weekend was (even with a fighter of Parker's caliber) regularly . . .

    Off balance - swinging - lunging - missing - desperately looking for big shots - and, also, (within some exchanges) displaying clear signs of (in a championship sense) what appeared to be an unwillingness to properly assess the threat/situation and capitalize on it in the most purposeful way . . . .

    Well, it was such that Barrera's performance actually led me to believe that Artur Beterbiev (had he faced the same Barrera as Parker did that night) would have probably easily stopped/dropped Barrera.



    Probably before 10 rounds too.



    In my opinion Sullivan Barrera (when/if he chooses to take on some of the bigger names of the division and in doing so meaningfully progress his career) certainly will not want to make too many of the same unnecessary and embarrassing technical errors that he frequently exhibited last weekend whilst in with (the much lesser) Paul Parker.



    In my opinion (at the championship level) Sullivan Barrera has a lot of mistakes to repair.


    I think he'd best be served by meaningfully looking at how he can resolve some of those vulnerabilities and issues.

    At least before he even thinks of heading back out into the really deep (Beterbiev/Kovalev) waters, again.



    I know that (even given that he beat Parker by stoppage last weekend) if I were training and/or responsible for Barrera, I would definitely not be happy with his entire performance against Parker.

    Sure the outcome is good.

    But, I would be prescribing some corrective action for the liabilities.


    And (due to the many unnecessary vulnerabilities Barrera exhibited, including how wide open he was when he attacked, lunged, and haphazardly scored/missed) that corrective action would both, become effective immediately and accompany a few weeks of technical tuition.

    I would do that to ensure that it is really clear just how dangerous some of his bad habits have become.



    Sullivan, (in my opinion) needs to look at; his defence - balance- how high his head is when he throws - he needs to also consider varying the speed/power on his punches so the predictability factor is lowered - and (last but not least) he should also revise how squared up (and wide) he (sometimes) becomes.

    And, this should all happen, at least, before he starts seriously looking at becoming a dominant force within (the deep waters of the) light heavyweight division.



    The justification and/or substantiation for (some of) this criticism comes from the fact that for much of the fight (while it lasted) last weekend Parker was (in addition to being relatively easy to counter, also) quite sloppy.

    What I am saying is that during the last few rounds (possibly more) Parker was pretty much there as a canvass for Barrera to portray his best art/work on; but, due to how poorly composed he was, Barrera abjectly failed to do so.



    However . . .

    Despite all this - and rather than Barrera simply capitalizing on Parker's sloppy/vulnerable approach and its many inherent weaknesses (even, for one third of the time) that frequently manifested themselves throughout almost every round - what Sullivan Barrera often did, was . . .

    He embarrassingly followed suit, and fought down to Parker's level.

    Even when it was completely unnecessary.



    And, in doing so Sullivan;

    A) Not only, showed us all how easily he can sometimes be misdirected and/or sidetracked (albeit by a far, far, less competent and dangerous opponent than he was originally scheduled to fight); such that he becomes noticeably distracted, uncoordinated, sloppy, and also unnecessarily vulnerable.


    B) But also (even within those final moments/rounds that Parker still persisted as an opponent that punched back despite being unable to win), he revealed to us that (despite all the advantages he actually held over Parker) Barrera can sometimes still allow himself to descend right down to another fighter's level; one that he really has no requirement to inhabit.

    And, last weekend, this seemed particularly true for those circumstances during the early stages of the (limited) fight where the combination of Paul Parker's approach and also his conduct itself presented as a style conundrum that was (whilst, perhaps not enormously difficult for the dedicated boxer to decipher - nonetheless still seemed {for Barrera}) slightly harder than Barrera expected and/or cared for.



    Or perhaps, better put . . .

    Last weekend, the combination of Paul Parker's boxing style, his resilience, and also some of his other fighting attributes . . .

    Seemed to present themselves to Sullivan Barrera in a way where . . .

    It soon became reasonably obvious to me (and this is despite Barrera {stepping right down [from Beterbiev] from his usual operational level for the Paul Parker fight} clearly being the superior boxer in almost every respect to Parker) that Sullivan Barrera actually found the degree of (perhaps unexpected) uncomfortability that Parker and his style presented, to be simply too much of a distraction.


    And, to be so easily distracted . . .

    Especially to the point where it obviously created several vulnerabilities/mistakes that were representative of a cluster of red flags.

    By a fighter like Parker.

    A fighter that . . .

    Really, if we're serious, is just not (or was not meant to be) on Barrera's level.

    Well, that's is not a good thing at all.



    And, based on achievements and experience alone; there is simply no way that Parker is on (where) Barrera's level (is said to be).



    As such, I actually think that the biggest "reveal" associated with last weekend's Barrera V Parker fight, is not the fact that Sullivan stopped Parker.

    As he was really expected to do that.


    Instead . . .

    I actually think the biggest "reveal" associated with the Barrera V Parker fight was actually how easily Sullivan Barrera allowed himself (with a far, far, lesser {than Beterbiev} opponent in front of him) to drift off, stray into dangerous waters, and adopt a seriously reckless and goofy style; all as he became increasingly desperate to beat and stop Parker - no matter what.


    Furthermore, in some ways, you can (and I do) make a case that there is simply no excuse for it.

    Not at Barrera's level.

    Particularly, when it's straight off the back of the Beterbiev V Barrera fight falling through; and all the bravado we heard from the Barrera camp about how that eventuated.



    I mean . .

    Even considering how less experienced and accomplished Parker really is (especially in comparison to Barrera or Beterbiev) . . .

    The fact of the matter is that Parker still presented as the perfect opportunity and candidate (for Sullivan Barrera), to;

    A) Not only; *get some much needed rounds in and/or run through some of the catalog of his technical (and/or fast twitch/reflex) expertise.


    B) But to *also;

    (i) Practice some of his (and/or boxing's) own *finer moves.

    You know the ones . . . .

    The ones that (especially when you're in with a genuine top operator; say, like, like Beterbiev) you just don't always get the chance to practice and execute.

    Certainly not with the same low risk profile that Parker had quickly worked himself down to and offered up, last weekend.


    (ii) Showcase and/or deliver a *technical performance and/or exhibition to all in attendance and/or those watching via broadcast, that (utilizes the opportunity you have and) removes any doubt (including that that may be associated with how Barrera's camp explained how the Beterbiev fight supposedly fell through) as to whether you really belong in the upper tier of the light heavyweight championship mix.



    Yet, regardless of all this, instead Barrera strangely sought not to seize the rare moment and opportunity for what it really was.

    Which, was surely nothing other than a great stage and chance to push his own personal stock higher; in a manner that offset any potential (and justifiable) drop in value that was itself directly associated with the obvious contrast between (Beterbiev and Parker as) opponents.



    Instead . . .


    And, mind you . .

    This is all, despite, how easily;


    A) A well executed (and relaxed) jab; from Barrera.


    B) Combined with both;

    (i) A selective assortment of right hands (unpredictably originating from various distances); that, in all reality, were actually available and (in many cases) right there for Sullivan to both, exploit and take advantage of; with far more style than he chose to exhibit on the night in question.

    (ii) Several well placed body shots that (would have kept Parker damaged and doing as expected, and) were also - just as with the punches/opportunities mentioned above - also clearly available to Barrera; should he have calmed down.


    Would have most likely, delivered on many of the above *criteria.

    Perhaps, effectively utilizing the above opportunities when they were actually available would have (as they delivered on many of the above *criteria) also advanced Barrera's interests and primary reasons for remaining in the fight game.

    Including those related to providing both, positive and the correct (performance based) impressions.

    That are themselves - almost always - closely associated with impressing and earning the broadcasting, network, and PPV, dollars; that Barrera surely longs for.




    Instead, Barrera simply wasted the golden opportunity given to him.

    And he did so because - from a situation that he eventually earned total control of to do as he pleased - somehow (as he rushed to end the night's festivities) he still (in complete absence of any significantly forced errors that Parker may have authored) managed to expose weaknesses and flaws in his own approach.

    Flaws that many other operators and fighters at his level would have long eliminated.

    And, considering that the opportunity (with Parker) was actually provided to him courtesy of (the combination of the Beterbiev fight falling through {which then made way for the much easier one against Parker} and) his own team's matchmaking . .

    It's even worse.

    As, despite all the opportunities that Parker eventually presented for Barrera to;


    A) Exercise technique and skills that are usually hard to practice on the big stage.


    B) Shine" and showcase himself safely to a wide audience whilst in the face of reduced risk.


    To some extent what Barrera really did was the very opposite.


    Furthermore, in missing the boat and doing this, unfortunately Sullivan also allowed himself to get ragged around the edges.

    And as that happened he was (both, stylistically and performance-wise) then dragged down to another fighter's level; one that has very little (big Benjamin) bargaining power.

    And, despite having absolutely no reason to go down there, and having every reason under the sun to stylistically capitalize on the opportunity Parker provided . .

    Barrera pretty much rushed to go (and operate) down there.


    So much so that it was almost as if Parker's own (predictable) decline into somewhat of an over-reaching, sloppy, club fighting style, was itself seen as an invitation to Barrera (that proved too much to refuse) to; relax, lower the boxing standard, and be noticeably less professional.




    This is championship level critique here folks.

    But, given how desperate Barrera is to advance his career and impress . .

    Talk about a wasted opportunity and bad advertising.

    So much more could have been done.

    And the impression we were left with could have - very easily - been more classy than the quick and dirty second hand needle rushed to the bruised vein that it was.





    So . .

    In consideration of all the above . . .

    I say that Sullivan Barrera almost made his last weekend's stoppage win (over Parker) look a little dubious.

    It's not often that, as a guy wins (whether or not it be by stoppage) he unnecessarily exposes himself in the manner that Barrera did.



    Opportunities within the sport to showcase yourself in an atmosphere of reduced risk don't come along that often to simply waste them.

    But (whether or not they're straight off the back of a previous fight associated with greater danger falling through and whether or not the new substitute bout possesses the potential to repair and/or embellish the perception of that negative circumstance) when they do come alone . . .

    To simply utilize them in manner that exposes your lack of championship composure and self control . .

    What can you say about that?


    There was so much (more and better) that Barrera could have done with Parker, last weekend.

    Rather than (what he did, which was) to unnecessarily expose just how desperate he was (to throw technique out the window in order) to both, stop a guy and waste a well spectated situation that could have easily been made to serve as a technical showcase of Barrera's abilities and composure.



    As such . . .

    If he is to meaningfully transition into the elite class of his weight division; the fact of the matter is that, firstly, there probably is a few critical areas/problems that Sullivan Barrera needs to work, and improve, on.

    Part of the problem, is (as mentioned above) Barrera has let a few bad habits creep into his style.

    And, from the hastily manner that Barrera pulls them out and/or resorts to them; they do seem as if they have been taking up residence within his boxing repertoire for quite a while now.

    They certainly are not new and/or temporary visitors.


    Not if (a gassed) Paul Parker (whose in retreat) can entice them to come out and reveal themselves.


    Another factor to consider may be that Barrera's quite possibly going stale up at the Summit gym.

    Unless, of course, Sanchez is successfully tutoring him to such an extent that (despite the bulk knowledge transfer that takes place) what Barrera actually learns from this has no meaningful place within his performances; due to physical storage limitations.


    I have always said that, (within reason) change is always good.

    Additionally, I am not sure that it's healthy for the heavier/bigger guys (particularly those with truly elite championship aspirations) to always play second fiddle to the lighter ones in a gym.


    For a while it probably works OK; so long as the fighters improve and get better.

    But, does it continue to work in the same productive manner for years?

    Especially when the light heavyweight talent pool is as deep as it is at the top right now?




    So . .

    If, Sullivan Barrera ({rather than, say, using sound boxing acumen and logic, instead he} allows himself to be guided by finances and the lure of the big dollars; and as such he) decides to venture up into the elite light heavyweight woods.

    Where, say, Ward, Sergey, and Artur Beterbiev, walk . . .


    Well then . .

    If he does that, and he does it without first addressing the (above-mentioned) fundamental issues that were exposed last weekend by Parker . .

    Then I genuinely fear that . . . .

    Many of the sharp amateur skills (and advantages) that Barrera used to previously possess and easily employ . . .

    Well . .

    Sadly, they simply won't always be within his repertoire for him to fall back on when needed, anymore.




    What's perhaps even more alarming than that . . .

    No-one (Sanchez included) seems too bothered about it.


    After all . . .

    Not sure (or not) if anyone noticed, but . . .

    Last weekend (during the Parker V Barrera fight) I didn't hear too many people (in between rounds) vehemently advising Barrera about these mistakes and how (important it was) to correct them.


    Especially since;

    A) Parker is (in almost every boxing/worthwhile respect) a very long, long, way off of what Beterbiev would have (in the event that Barrera actually found himself standing across the ring from him) most likely represented.

    B) We have, to date, been told (in no uncertain terms) that the real reason that Sullivan Barrera was unable to fight Beterbiev;

    (i) Supposedly has no direct relationship to Barrera.

    (ii) Is not Sullivan Barrera's fault.



    Furthermore, another part of the fragmented problem (for Barrera and his career advancement) is that . . . .

    Ward, Kovalev, and Beterbeiv, themselves are also light heavyweights.


    And, none of them (save for perhaps Sergey Kovalev) really seem to easily leak, spill out, and/or exhibit the same kind of rookie vulnerabilities and unnecessarily liabilities, when fighting; in the manner that Barrera did last weekend as he desperately and loosely rallied to stop Parker.

    Furthermore, they (Ward, Kovalev, and Beterbeiv) certainly don't exhibit such a rich vein of liabilities when in against the kind of competition that Parker represents.


    What's more, even though Kovalev himself may exhibit some liabilities when engaged and in the heat of the moment . . .

    He always has that serious "heavy duty" power.

    That (aside from being effective even at the elite level, also) also happens to be a great equalizer.


    Conversely . . .

    Barrera (sometimes) wastes energy and therefore power.

    But, the fact that he does it at levels within the sport that are lower than both, his ranking and personal aspirations . . .

    Well, that tells another story all together.




    Frankly . . .

    I really don't think (at this stage of his career) that there is a great deal that Sullivan Barrera can do about all this.


    It's a very harsh assessment, I know.

    Especially on the back of a stoppage win.




    Barrera, in some ways, reminds me of (the previous Kostya Tszyu opponent) Hurtado.

    Both, Hurtado's style and also his demeanor didn't quite translate across into the professional ranks.

    And, this became increasingly obvious as the competition and pace was stepped up.





    Yes . . .

    If nothing else, it will certainly be very interesting to see how Ward and/or Kovalev respond to the threat that Beterbiev presents; over the upcoming 18 or so months.


    Beterbiev - as he inches his career forward - certainly brings more than just a little bit of danger and risk along with him.





    Finally . . .

    And this one is for all the boxing purists and combat sport/style impresarios out there in TSS forum land . . .


    If you ever get a chance . . .

    Take a look sometime at some of Beterbiev's intense pre-fight workouts.

    Including his strength and conditioning routines.


    As, it's;

    A) Not only, very, very, impressive and inspiring.


    B) But also, it's a frightening insight into what's in store (competition-wise) for any upcoming opponent.




    Personally, I don't think (not even for for a second) that Beterbiev really believes in his own mind that either Ward or Kovalev would last 12 rounds with him.


    And . . .

    Based on current form, I am not entirely sure that I could mount a decent argument to the contrary of that.






    Cheers,

    Storm.







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