Ringside with Raymundo at the MGM Grand
- Updated: January 22, 2015
This past weekend was yet another action packed and storyline filled week for the sport of boxing in this early part of 2015 as the famed MGM Grand Garden Arena served host to its first heavyweight title affair since the 1990s and the adjacent media room hosted a few Hall of Fame fighters to break some heavy-weighing news regarding an anticipated mega bout for 2015. (No, not ‘that mega bout’)
While Deontay Wilder wasn’t able to knockout champion Bermane Stiverne for the WBC heavyweight title, Miguel Cotto was able to deliver a KO blow to the often proposed Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather showdown, which will perhaps go down as 2015’s Knockout of the Year. It’s a candidate, at the very least.
The news broke at 11:00 a.m. on fight day from the mouth of 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Oscar De La Hoya, who sipped at a venti Starbucks while seated with media in a roundtable session to announce the signing of heavy-handed French-Canadian David Lemieux to Golden Boy Promotions.
While future Hall of Fame inductee Bernard Hopkins dominated the roundtable much like he did the middleweight division in the 1990’s, conversation turned to oh yeah, the soft spoken Lemieux seated to his right and potential future opponents Gennaday Golovkin and Miguel Cotto, it was the mention of Cotto that sparked the intrigue.
Cotto has masterfully played his status in the boxing game since turning free agent from a career long relationship with Top Rank for a 2012 fight against Floyd Mayweather, has kept himself free of a multi-fight contract with a promotional company for three consecutive fights since (A. Trout, E. Rodriguez, S. Martinez).
The Puerto Rican future Hall of Fame inductee is now on the heels of yet another bout against Mayweather, scuttling not only the mega bout doomed to never happen, but the proposed match between Cotto and Golden Boy Promotions star client Canelo Alvarez, much to the behest of De La Hoya, who confirmed the rumors that the Cotto/Alvarez ship set for this year was sinking.
Let’s get Kenny Bayless’ ruling here; do we have the infamous double KO on our hands?
De La Hoya spread word mainly through ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael, as the Cotto/Alvarez bout was discussed briefly at the roundtable, but only confirmed deceased later at the hands of Rafael’s Twitter feed.
So the expected knockout in Las Vegas on the third weekend of 2015 came at the hands of Cotto, and prior to the anticipated heavyweight title fight that was to occur some nine hours after Cotto’s two birds with one stone volley.
An announced crowd of over 8,000 that featured Evander Holyfield, Riddick Bowe and a never say die flat-top’ sporting Larry Holmes was treated to a better than expected opener that produced multiple knockdowns between Amir Imam and Fidel Maldonado Jr. which may have made Imam a player in the lightweight division.
Leo Santa Cruz was less than stellar in his eight round affair against challenger Jesus Ruiz. The crowd became anxious for Santa Cruz to do away with his opponent and step on the gas the young pugilist did so the crowd could be treated to a genuine heavyweight title fight.
Just prior to the main event, it was Facebooked that former Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer was in the house. The laptop closed and 3MR sought out to prove or dispel this rumor. After shooting from one end of ringside to the other, sure enough, there was Schaefer with wife in tow. The much publicized $50 million dollar lawsuit between he and De La Hoya had reportedly indicated that Schaefer could not participate in the sport of boxing for a period of 1-2 years.
Perhaps the Golden Boy/Schaefer settlement didn’t preclude Schaefer from buying tickets, (or perhaps not having to say no if someone affiliated with Team Wilder handed him ringside seat tickets) and his presence only intensified the going-ons of the business portion side of the sport of boxing.
The word around of a Cotto/Canelo collapse, as well as if ‘that fight’ was going to happen, nearly outshined what was a fantastic first six rounds of heavyweight title action between Stiverne and Wilder. At the midway point, of course, fatigue set in, and Wilder proceeded with his good enough jab and 1-2 combination while Stiverne was less active and let his title slip away from him in a fight he was already down big from the initial 18 minutes.
Lopsided scores for Wilder provided America with the first American champion since 2006 and it was a surprise to all that a 12th round bell was even rung.
As the initial rounds 1,2,3 and 4 passed without a KO, you could almost sense the disappointment from the crowd, who most likely laid some green down on an early night for either fighter, and the Vegas odds oddly favored Wilder from the outset, and never changed heading into fight night, with Stiverne listed at +135.
The payout of a 36 minute long decision that no one in the audience, media or anyone with any know how in the sport of boxing?