3 More Rounds

Bank or Bust: Stevenson, Cotto-Martinez, Mayweather’s Sep. Bout

We’re back once more with a brand new edition of Bank or Bust, as Ali Shakoor and a returning Raymundo Dioses give us their thoughts on a variety of topics in this great sport we call boxing.

Let’s just jump straight into the topics for debate.

Photo: Stephanie Trapp / Showtime

Photo: Stephanie Trapp / Showtime

1. Based off what you saw from Adonis Stevenson this past weekend, you’d pick Bernard Hopkins in a potential unification bout.

Ali Shakoor: Bust – I know it’s never wise to bet against Hopkins, but the man is almost 50 years old!  Though he still has a good chin, I can’t recall the last time Hopkins met someone with the power of Adonis Stevenson, and Hopkins no longer has the same defensive ability that he possessed five years ago.  Stevenson looked bad against Fonfara–a guy he may have under prepared for– but he still scored multiple knockdowns and clearly won against a quality contender.  Also, besides Stevenson’s power, let’s not forget the boxing ability and athleticism that he deployed against Tavoris Cloud; types of skills that can cause Hopkins problems.  If Hopkins were 5 years younger, I’d favor him.  Now, I think Stevenson stops the great Bernard Hopkins and ends his legendary career.

Raymundo Dioses: Bank – By the mid-rounds and especially after the knockdown scored by Fonfara, Hopkins was probably jumping at the seams and ready to take on the young puncher. You have to believe that Hopkins already has an idea of how to beat Stevenson, and the knockdown was the cherry on top of a game plan Hopkins already had in mind. I can see a unanimous decision nod for Hopkins when/if the pair meet in the ring. So can Hopkins!

2. Cotto vs. Martinez is your most anticipated fight of 2014.

Ali Shakoor: Bank – This is going to be an exceptional fight.  The Face Off between the two on HBO was so very intense and passionate.  We have two proud future Hall of Famers, a tad past their primes but still capable of putting on a great show.  Their styles compliment each other, and there appears to be genuine animosity between the two.  Add in the epic Madison Square Garden venue packed with passionate Puerto Rican and Argentinian fans, and we have the makings of all time classic showdown.  I. can. not. wait.

Raymundo Dioses: Bust – With the possibility of Pacquiao-Marquez V looming, whether you hate the idea of it or love the idea of a fifth go-round, the fight, if made, will be the match watched PPV of 2014. Period. While Cotto-Martinez is intriguing, especially as it could direct a few career paths of other boxers depending on who both the winner and loser of the bout is, all eyes will be on Pacquiao-Marquez V when/if that (re)five-match occurs.

Bermane Stiverne v Chris Arreola3. You’d give Bermane Stiverne a chance at an upset against Wladimir Klitschko.

Ali Shakoor: Bank – A puncher’s chance, yes.  Bermane has outstanding power and decent speed for a man his size.  I certainly would not favor him to win such a clash if it were to happen, but he absolutely has a “chance” for an upset against Wladimir.

Raymundo Dioses: Bust – As much as Stiverne impressed in with two bouts against Arreola, it also showed the caliber of Arreola; the Mexican is simply not in Klitschko’s league, nor is Stiverne. While Stiverne may prove durable and could reach the final bell against Klitschko, there is no beating either brother at this time.

4. Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank will do business together before the end of the year.

Ali Shakoor: Bank – This is all such a mess.  My reading of the tea leaves tells me that Schaefer is going to leave Golden Boy Promotions and start his own promotion with Al Haymon and/or Mayweather.  That leaves Oscar–who seems to have made peace with Top Rank–as open for business with Top Rank, with whatever fighters he has left.  I figure we’ll have to dedicate a future entire Bank or Bust to the eventual Golden Boy Promotions split and the major ramifications that it will have on our sport.

Raymundo Dioses: Bank – There are too many scenarios in which both Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions can do business for them NOT to put a final stamp on ending the ‘Cold War’ later this year. It will be interesting, and good for the sport, if Bob Arum and Oscar De La Hoya sat near or next to each other for next month’s Lomenchko-Russell Jr. title fight in a show of solidarity and things to come. We will see…

Photo: Showtime Sports

Photo: Showtime Sports

5. You’d rather see Mayweather-Maidana II than Mayweather-Cotto II.

Ali Shakoor: Bust – I’m not sure we’ll see either, but if Cotto were to upset Martinez for The Middleweight Championship of the World, I’d like to see Floyd take a shot at history.  Cotto engaged in an outstanding and entertaining fight with Floyd a couple of years ago, and I think it’s worth seeing again with the greater stakes. It would also be a lucrative pay per view event.  Maidana impressively fought the fight of his life against Floyd, and he still clearly lost. If they fight again, particularly with a different referee that may restrict Maidana’s dirty tactics, Floyd would win in far easier fashion. I don’t need to see that rematch.  Too many other options for Floyd out there.

Raymundo Dioses: Bust – While Maidana was impressive and effective against Mayweather, a second go round simply won’t be as competitive as Mayweather now has the ‘Mayvinci Code’ on Maidana.  While the same could be said about Cotto, a middleweight-title grab at this point by Mayweather will help enhance his undefeated career to a higher caliber as opposed to another dance with Maidana in another welterweight title defense.

6. If you were Juan Manuel Marquez, you would pass on a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao.

Ali Shakoor: Bust – Marquez wants to be the first Mexican to win five titles in five different divisions.  He can also get paid more than $10,000,000 to challenge Manny.  Marquez arguably has won more total rounds over Pacquiao through the years, and just put him to sleep in their last epic showdown. Marques is going to take the fight, after a tough period of financial negotiations.  Unless Marquez has concerns about what Angel Heredia’s, um,  training methods are doing to his body, upper torso acne or otherwise, I figure Marquez will not only fight Pacquiao, but might even keep boxing for another year or two.

Raymundo Dioses: Bank – If I were Juan Manuel Marquez, I would have the tough decision to turn down perhaps upwards of $10 million that will be offered to him for the fight, but I would simply have to say no as there could be no better exclamation point on their rivalry pro-Marquez then Marquez-Pacquiao IV provided. If Marquez is comfortable financially for the rest of his life, then saying no to $10 million is not as big a deal as it would be to us smaller folks.

However, winning a title in a fourth class and being the first Mexican to do so will be enticement enough and I will go on record as saying Marquez-Pacquiao V happens whether we want it or not.

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