IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“Leo Santa Cruz outpointed Abner Mares over twelve spirited rounds at Staples Center in Los Angeles last night, giving the 13,109 in attendance a reason to keep their ticket stubs. Because Santa Cruz-Mares, for now, is a fight worthy of a little memento, one people will remember fondly at least until the year is through, and the internet is overrun with articles bestowing unsolicited awards on fighters ever unaware that they have won them.”

Read Fever Pitch: Leo Santa Cruz W12 Abner Mares on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“Still, at a time when the PBC has lost nearly all of its own momentum, when its own trajectory points to a future hardly long enough to do more than fatten another tick, Mares-Santa Cruz is a welcome change from the typical: it is a fight with real stakes. Although it is difficult to see either man suffer financially should he lose on Saturday—Haymon clients will still be overcompensated as “Master Al” spends frivolously the money of others—neither man can afford a defeat. With a loss, Mares will be considered a fighter who lost his nerve permanently with the first stoppage he suffered; a fighter who, despite a stretch of competition that even Carl Froch might not look down his crooked nose at, never really got off the canvas the night Gonzalez unmade him.”

Read After the Stall: Leo Santa Cruz-Abner Mares Preview on The Cruelest Sport.

IBR on The Cruelest Sport


“Garcia, to borrow from Henry James, is like the number zero: his value comes from what he is paired with. He is at heart, a counter-puncher, looking his best against men who will accommodate his range and dig in. His two signature victories came against a bona fide banger, Lucas Matthysse, and a naked emperor who thinks he is dressed like one, Amir Khan. But even in winning, Garcia looked lost against Herrera, who clowned Garcia with his jab, and Peterson, who skittered away from Garcia for six rounds before bringing the type of fight “Swift” might not have asked for had he known it was coming. He never looked lost against Malignaggi; but then, he never looked especially impressive either.”

Read Zero Value: Danny Garcia TKO9 Paulie Malignaggi on The Cruelest Sport.


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