Idealistic Stats podcast 9/11/15

15th edition of the weekly Idealistic Stats podcast is now available.


Also accessible permanently at the Internet Archive:


Main website:

This week’s podcast includes the following:
Thoughts and predictions on the Mayweather/Berto fight
Analysis of 5 stakes races that are part of my Enlightened Trails, taking
place 9/12
Last minute analysis of my fantasy football lineup and concerns
Update to the MLB greatest games project, complete through 2012

Music used in this program:
Annie Wenz “Play Ball” – Ride The Sky CD
Ray Goren “Save My Soul” – Save My Soul CD
Matt Ellis “On The Horizon” – The Greatest Escape CD
DJ Flowerdove “Distant Project Gate (Remix)”

Thanks for listening!

Dan Herman
Twitter: @idealisticstats

Mares/Santa Cruz featherweight title fight analysis

Sometimes Wiki can really be your best friend when you need it.  I was confused about the big fight coming up at the Staples Center in Los Angeles,  for a WBC Diamond featherweight title. Diamond?I think I heard of it,and some reference to Silver too, but why these extra belt? Is this just so history has to show that a magic belt had to be won for any old fight? Seems that’s how the World Boxing Council wants it.   Good old Wikipedia says that the Diamond belt is to recognize winning a fight of great significance, one awarded per weight class. The fight on Saturday would grant the first such belt in the class. And, on paper, it does shape up well.  Abner Mares, former WBC World featherweight title, goes for the glory against undefeated multiple super bantamweight champ Leo Santo Cruz.   Not sure if I like all these belts.   I so long for simpler times.
Mares is 29-1-1, 15 wins and 1 loss by KO.  This will be his 4th fight vs an undefeated opponent.  The one blemish came vs Jhohnny Gonzalez 2 years ago this week.  Since then he’s gone to 2 decision, and caused one retirement, each fight at 10 rounds. Steps up again to 12 rounds, maybe even lifetime highweight. He was 128 vs Jose Ramirez on 12/13/14.  In 12-round fights, he’s gone 9-1-1, with one early and 1 late KO in his wins.   He’s been on the greater radar since 2009 and held his first title (IBF World bantamweight) in 2010, acquired at the Staples Center.   He kept some sort of title aloft until his loss to Gonzalez.    This will be his 4th fight in this venue, just 8 miles from home in Montebello.
Triple high cycles without counting his growing intuitive expression.  Physically he’s weaker than previous days but his attitude is very good and he’s at peak mentally.   Strong athletic abilitly in general and a willingness to finish a fight.  Very good outlook here.

Santa Cruz, ‘El Terremoto” is based in Rosemead,10 miles from Staples Center. 30-0-1, 17 KOs.   Held the WBC World super bantamweight title snice 8/13 until 1/15  It will be his 6th fight vs an opponent with 0 or 1 loss. In 12-round fights, he’s won all 10, with 2 KOs each early, mid and late stages.
As much as Mares has a strong outlook, it’s most difficult for Santa Cruz.  Intuition is in a temporary critical phase, and he’s rather weak physically and emotionally.  Seems most likely to quit the fight at some point.

One common opponent:
Eric Morel lost to Santa Cruz, who won the vacant WBC world super bantamweight title, 4/21/12, decision in 12.
Then in September 2012, Mares would score a 5th round TKO vs Morel, retaining his IBF World bantamweight title.
I predict this to be a mid-fight KO by Mares and owner of the vacant title.

Porter/Malignaggi analysis in biorhythms

Biggest fight on tonight’s boxing calendar amidst a few championship bouts is this one: Shawn Porter v Paul Malignaggi, taking place at the DC Armory in the nation’s capital. Porter’s IBF welterweight title on the line. Challenger first:
Malignaggi is ranked as the #7 welterweight in the US by and #11 worldwide. Ring magazine gives him the #8 ranking. Magic Man, out of Brooklyn, is 33-5-0, with KO 7 wins, 2 KO losses. Last loss was to Adrien Broner last June, split decision. Last KO loss was to Amir Kahn in 2010, 11th of 12 rounds. The loss to Broner ended a 5 fight win streak. Just one KO win in a 12 round fight, 9th round vs Senchenko 2 years. This Malignaggi’s 5th straight title fight having previously held the WBA World welterweight title and the vacant NABF title in the same class. Here’s the stat I’m intrigued by: 16 fights have come vs fighters with 0 or 1 loss. , with a record of 12-4. His opponent is #17.

Bad cycles for a boxer anytime, with weakening power and already deflated motivation.

The man they call Showtime (does Showtime network call him that too?), Shawn Porter is 23-0-1, 14 KO wins. This is just his 2nd fight scheduled for 12. First one was his most recent effort, decision win vs. Devon Alexander. The lone draw came 16 months ago vs Julio Diaz, 10 rounds. Ring magazine gives him the #6 welterweight ranking. says he’s #4 in the US, #8 worldwide.

Cycles not much different for Showtime, as his skills are very weak but he has much better smarts in the ring, and he’ll know when he’ll able to block, and be somewhat able to use the ring more to his advantage.
Both fighters make their first appearance in DC. No common opponents between the two nor common judges or referees.
Prediction: Decision for Porter, barely able to hang in in the 12th. Paying for the fight? You might get your money’s worth.

Pacquiao/Bradley 2 analysis

Timothy Bradley v Manny Pacquiao, 12 rounds, for Bradley’s WBO welterweight title.A great clash between 2 of the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters, certainly the best of their weight class not named Mayweather. They met last time in June 2012, with Bradley winning a controversial split decision. Watch what happened:
This will be Bradley’s 3rd appearance at the MGM Grand, site of that fateful decision. Undefeated in 31 fights, 12 by KOs. Last KO win was v Joel Casamayor in 2011 (his only in a 12-round fight). Before that, v Nasser Athumani in 2007. He makes his 3rd defense of the title, which Manny himself had defended 3 times. He has in Manny his best opponent outside of Juan Manuel Marquez, whom they both fought. Marquez lost by decision to Bradley, and KOd by Manny in one fight, and won majority decision of in another. Just one out of Bradley’s last 13 fights have ended in a KO, which was his sole KO in his 12-round fights.

Here are Bradley’s cycles:

Very good cycles. the passion is undeniable. Physicality is at its peak, and has a good deal of stamina, decent thought process.
Before facing Bradley for the first time, Manny had defeated 4 previously undefeated boxers who had at least 10 wins. He makes his 11th appearance at the MGM Grand. As mentioned, 2 losses have come in that very ring, 2 of his last 3 fights, in fact. Manny has 11 KOs early i2 12 round fights, 7 in the middle rounds, 5 KOs late. 1 KO result in his last 7. He has defeated 4 opponents with previously unbeaten records before the first match vs Bradley.
And here are Manny’s cycles:

Not impressive at all. All 3 cycles have been negative for 4 days already. There is some resurgence but there’s too much to overcome for Manny to have a shot.

Both fighters have challenging mental cycles but Bradley has a serious advantage in 2 of the other 3.

Predicting a middle round KO for Bradley.

2 major boxing matches analyzed via stats, cycles

Two boxing matches of considerable, er, weight to look at for tonight:

First is Keith “One Time” Thurman vs Jesus Soto “Renuente” Karass. The interim WBA world welterweight title is up for grabs. Thurman holds this title, while Adrien Broner, who won the title in the ring outpointing Paulie Malignaggi back in June, has a big fight of his own tonight. Hold that thought.
Thurman is the #11 ranked heavyweight in the world and #7 in the US per 21-0-0, a stellar 19 by KO. Jan Zaveck took him to the limit 2 fights back, This is just the 3rd 12-rounder for Thurman, the first being the Zaveck fight, and then the TKO vs Diego Gabriel Chaves, both taking place in 2013. This will be his 3rd fight in TX as well. Nearly all of his KO’s have come in early to middle rounds, tho the KO of Chaves was in the 10th of 12, and you can watch that fight here:

Cycles are slowly on the improve. Thurman will have to rely on brains, and not so much brawn, to be victorious. Punching power and generally psyche is still quite low. He should be able to least survive the 12.

Karass is #13 among welterweights, and #2 out of his native Mexico. He sports a poor 2-5 record vs. undefeated opponents. He comes out of a TKO in 12th vs Andre Berto for the vacant NABF welterweight belt. 4-5 plus one no decision in last 10. He’s 5-2 in TX, and it’s his first time at the AT&T Center in San Antonio. 5-3-1 in 12-round contests. Overall: 28-8-3, with 18 KOs in win, 2 KO losses.
Referee Jon Schorle was also present to officiate Karass’s last bout vs Berto, which you can see here:

Mixed bag for Karass. Power is down and fading fast. Also right on a mental critical day, suggesting he’ll make some poor decisions in punches. I’d say for a boxer his acumen is about average, yet his drive is not quite what it should be.

This is looking like a tough fight for both, and not necessarily a great one, but I do see Thurman staying undefeated, winning by decision.

Adrian Broner, one of the leading pound-for-pound boxers worldwide, defends the WBA world welterweight title vs Marcos Rene Maidana.
Challenger first: “El Chino” is 34-3-0, 31 wins by KO. As the #9 welterweight, he’s fought mainly in his native Argentina ( along with Germany, and selected dates in the US). He’s 5-2 on US soil. All of his KOs in 12-round affairs have come either early or mid-fight. It’s his 3rd fight (2-0) going up against an undefeated opponent. 3 straight KOs since last defeat.

Comes out of a triple low, with stronger punching power but overall a big uphill climb for Maidana. Don’t expect much from him at all here.

Broner, a stellar 27-(22)-0-0 record in tow, makes his first defense of this belt after winning a split decision vs Malignaggi in June. That decision broke a 6-fight TKO streak. This will be his 4th fight in TX, and his 7th 12-rounder.Also tends to end fights early to mid-stages.
Judge Nelson Vazquez was also present for a 6 round decision for Broner v Luis Alfredo Lugo, 1/24/09.

Broner in peak form, and comes in with ideal cycles for a boxer, as the physical and emotional cycles are high and rising further.

Prediction: Broner with a mid-fight TKO victory.

3 boxing matches analyzed via biorhythms/stats

3 large boxing events taking place today. One in Germany, one in China, one in the UK. All 3 matches are given the top 5-star ranking by (where all the stats below have been generated from; give props). We’ll start westward:

In Manchester, at the Phones 4u Arena, Carl Froch takes on George Groves for the WBA Super World and IBF super middleweight titles.

George Groves, born and bred in London, is the #6 super middleweight in the world and #2 in the UK. He is undefeated in 19 fights, 15 by KO. This is just his 7th fight scheduled for 12. In the previous 6, he has always dispatched his opponent early when he does deliver knockdows, going the distance only twice. Interestingly, all his KOs have been of the TKO variety. This is Saint George’s 2nd world title fight, and the 3rd time fighting in this arena.
3rd man in the ring is Howard John Foster, who was also in this role for George’s majority decision win over Kenny Anderson in 2010, and the same vs James DeGale in 2011, and was a judge in 4 of his fights as well. Foster was a judge for the 2012 Froch/Bute clash and Froch/Robin Reid in 2007, and as ref in Froch/Ruben Groenewald in 2005, each a win for Froch.
Judge Phil Edwards was a ref in Froch’s KO of Yusaf Mack in 2012, likewise in the same result vs Tony Dodson in 2006, and for Froch/Matthew Barney in 2005. The other 2 judges, Massimiliano Bianco and Waleska Roldan, have never been part of these fighters’ prior matches.

George receives a mixed bag of cycles, tho he’s actually under the influence of what’s called a double-critical day in biorhythms. His mental-physical ability are hampered because of the lack of power, and confusion overall in the ring. He’s likely to have some sort of accident, certainly to bleed more than usual. Emotionally he’s also at a nadir and that’s no help to his cause. The passion just isn’t there.
Carl Froch makes his 2nd defense of the WBA Super World super middleweight title. 9 of the last 10 fights for that title had gone to decision. It’s also Carl’s 3rd straight defense of the IBF super middleweight title, which he won defeating Lucian Bute in May of 2012, who, himself, had the title since 2007. The great majority of recent results of bouts for that title are KOs.
Cobra is 31-2-0, 22 KOs, and is based in Nottingham. He ranks as his country’s #1 super middleweight and #2 in the world. Tonight is his 11th straight bout for a title. It’s also his 7th time facing an undefeated opponent, In those fights, he went 5-1-0, with 3 TKOs, 2 decisions, and 1 of his 2 losses, that against Andre Ward.2 years ago. In his last 8 fights, he’s registered just 2 knockouts, plus lost 2 by decision. Here’s a look at the Ward/Froch fight:
When going 12 rounds, he has registered KOs around the middle stages of a fight; we’ll say 6th or 7th round.

Froch is coming out of a week-long triple-low which sees him on a resurgence physically but not really enough to be for true punching power yet. His psyche is well on the negative side and he’s finding himself prone to make poor decisions. He must rely on whatever power he has to be competitive.
As much as this is a 5 star fight, I don’t see this bout as having 2 fighters anywhere near the top of their game. Given that Froch has the rising physical cycle and free of the critical stage that Saint George is in, I’m predicting a unanimous decision for Froch.
Now to Bayern, Germany, and two cruiserweights:
Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs Alexander Alekseev, 12 rounds, for Hernandez’s IBF cruiserweight title. Challenger first:

Alekseev is from Uzbekistan and is based in Hamburg, Germany. He’s the #5 cruiserweight in the world. 24-2-1, 20 KOs. This will be his 5th fight going against a boxer with either 0 or 1 loss. Both of his losses came against such opponents (Denis Lebedev, 2010, Victor Emilio Ramirez, 2009) It’s his 12th fight scheduled for 12. In those fights, he has 2 wins & a draw via decision (his last 3, in fact), 5 KOs (4 by TKO), one KO loss, one retirement each by himself and an opponent. He’s averaging a KO around the 4th round of 12.

Generally positive outlook for Alekseev. Punching will be as strong as it can be, and he’ll make generally OK decisions with those punches. His emotional state is pretty low, so that takes away from the power somewhat. He won’t really feel like himself in the ring tonight. But there’s no doubt as to his athletic ability and focus.
‘Iron Man’ Hernandez makes his 3rd straight defense of the belt, and his 2nd straight in this arena. 27-1-0, 13 by KO. That lone blemish came back in 2008 vs Wayne Braithwaite. Since this, he has scored 8 wins via decision, 3 KOs, 1 TKO, one retirement. The Cuban native is also based in Germany, where he’s fought exclusively.

Doesn’t look good for Yoan, who actually is on a personal high and will feel inspired by the scene, but comes in with virtually no power, and low potential for technical skill success or focus in the ring. He’ll fight with heart but it won’t last.
Judge Mickey Vann had judged Hernandez’s prior fight with Troy Ross in September 2012, and was referee for Hernandez’s title gain in 2011 vs Steve Cunningham (see that fight here: and also judged his win over Enad Licina for the IBF intercontinental cruiserweight title in 2009…all 3 were decision wins for Yoan.
I predict a TKO win by the 5th round for Alekseev and a title change,
The big fight tonight is in Macau, as Manny Pacquiao takes on Brandon Rios, for the vacant WBO International welterweight title.
Manny comes in after losing his last 2 fights, both in 2012, to Juan Manuel Marquez via KO, and to Timothy Bradley by split decision. It’s his first match in his home country since 2006. Overall he is now 54-5-2, with 38 wins and 3 losses via KO. He’s fought 16 times vs an opponent with either 0 or 1 loss, winning 14, with one such loss to Bradley. He’s averaged a TKO around the 5th or 6th round for his career in 12-round fights, tho he’s not recorded a KO since Miguel Cotto in 2009, highlights of, here:

About as bad as one could have cycles going in: The potential is low for any chance of Pac Man winning tonight.
Rios is 31-1-1, 23 wins by KO. This is his first fight outside of North America. Pac Man is easily the most experienced fighter Rios has ever fought. Rios is coming off his only loss, decision to Mike Alvarado in 12 back in March. He’s fought 5 other times at 12 rounds, with 3 TKOs, a DQ, and a split decision. His KOs tend to be late in a fight.

These cycles are decent at best. For a boxer, you really want to have those physical and emotional cycles up, or at least pointing up. They are both mired at the bottom, so that’s not helpful. His mental state is pretty sharp, and that may be the x factor.
Judge Michael Pernick also scored Manny’s fight vs Ricky Hatton in 2009 (2nd round KO for Manny),
Neither fighter look like they want to go the distance. The difference for me is that Bam Bam will make better decisions with whatever power he’s got,
I’m predicting a 9th round TKO win for Bam Bam, thinking Manny will just be plain unlucky when the punch comes.

I’ve never watched or cared too much about MMA to consider even tracking for stats and analysis beyond the norm. Still, I like the novelty of answering the big question with these fights: What style wins? Or, what combo of styles are better to win a fight?
I won’t attempt to answer the questions in this post. Maybe at some point I’ll examine lineage of champions and see what their specific paths are. Note to self: do this pronto.

Tonight is UFC 167: Georges St. Pierre vs Johny Hendricks for St. Pierre’s UFC welterweight title.

St. Pierre has defended this title 8 times, second most of any of the league titles. 7 of his last 8 fights have been wins via decision, 24-2 in the octagon, with that last loss coming in 2007. 11th fight in Vegas. ranks him the #2 Absolute all-time fighter and #1 , behind Anderson Silva. Also is the top welterweight and #2 pound-for-pound (from )
Styles: Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Also holds black belts in Gaidojutsu (recent combo of wrestling, kickbocking and judo) and Shidokan (derivative of Okinawan karate).

Mixed bag of cycles for an athlete..a surge in physical power, feeling more sure of himself tonight,motivation is returning, and he must run with that pure physicality tonight, as his decision-making is at a nadir.

Yves Lavigne is the 3rd man in the ring…who has seen 3 decisions and awarded one TKO with St. Pierre fighting

Johny Hendricks, 15-1, is the top contender for the title
This is his 4th fight in Vegas, along with it is first shot at a UFC belt.
Alternating KOs (mainly from punches) & wins via decision in last 6, following first career loss.
Styles: wrestling (prime strength) boxing, kickboxing

Johny is already at his physical peak but the passion isn’t quite there. His decision making is good and improving strongly. He’ll be able to take care of his opponent but he might be more sensitive to his environs tonight.

This fight is very close to call, but I will give it to the champion, St. Pierre, in a 5-round decision.

ESPN with a special edition of boxing on  Saturday, tonight at Glow, Greenhithe, UK, with the main event being James DeGale and Dyah Davis, a pair of super middleweights going 12 rounds for DeGale’s WBC Silver super middleweight title.
DeGale is based in London, fighting with a 16-1-0 record (11 KOs). This is his 2nd defense of the title. 8 12-rounder of his career, going 7-1 (3 decisions, 3 KOs, 1 retirement, and the one blemish a decision loss 21 months ago). When he does end with a KO win, it’s often early in the fight. DeGale is ranked by as the #9 super middleweight worldwide, and #3 in the UK. Tonight is his 3rd match at Glow, where Stjepan Bozic retired in round 4 of 12. That fight was done on short rest for DeGale, coming 25 days after an early KO of Sebastien Demers. Prior to that, at Glow, he outpointed Hadillah Mohoumade for the EBU supermiddleweight title (European)

Coming out of a 4-day triple high, he’s going to be quite fuzzy mentally, wanting to think ahead in the fight but he’s going to have such confusion over what to punch, and might get caught with his hands down. But he still has a true boxer’s chance, as his physical and mental cycles remain high to contend.

Davis is 22-3-1, 10 wins and 1 loss by KO.
#23 super middleweight in the world, #4 in the US. Tonight is his first fight outside the US. He has a record of 5-1 against opponents who were undefeated or with 1 loss coming in. Tonight is also his first scheduled 12-round contest. Last 2 fights were KOs, ending a run of 5 decisions. Most of his own KOs have also come early in fights.


Triple-high cycles can only suggest he’s very sure of himself, has prime power and skills to master the ring tonight.

Predicting an 8th-round TKO win (or at least the middle rounds) for Dyah Davis.

Largest attention of the boxing world (who are not watching UFC, that is) will be watching HBO and Andre Ward vs Edwin Rodriguez. These 2 middleweights, battle for Ward’s WBA “super” super middleweight title in Ontario CA.

Ward is 26-0-0, 14 by KOs. As a 38-year-old he fought once last year, and this is his one fight for 2013 as well. It’s his 10th fight scheduled for 12 rounds. In those fights he has gone 7-0, 6 decisions and one late TKO, breaking a string of 5 decisions. This fight is his first at Citizens Business Bank Arena, but the latest in a long line of fights in his home state. Further, it’s his 5th fight vs an undefeated opponent. As for the title itself, he’s held it since 2009, tho his inactive status took the title away twice, giving it to the top challenger, Carl Froch.

S.O.G. has good tactical skills tonight. All three cycles are in the up direction, but emotionally there’s a big hill to climb. He’s got to get over himself and whatever inner demons are lurking. Even if his psyche is a bit troubled, his athletic ability is strong.

Edwin Rodriguez reported over the weight limit, so he’s not eligible to win the title in the ring. “La Bomba” is the world #4 super middleweight per and #1 from the Dominican Republic. Undefeated in 24 fights, 14 by KO. Had a run of 5 KOs in 2009-10, then 2 KOs, 4 decisions, 1 retirement followed. This is his first fight on the West Coast. It’s also his first 12-round fight. Last pure KO win came in 2010.

Cycles for Edwin are very good here..just what a boxer needs, power and passion. Tactical skills are lacking tonight; he’ll miss his share of power punches and he’s willing to see the fight through, slugging it out instead of biding time.

Third man is Jack Reiss, who officiated the Ward/Kessler fight in 2009 (Ward winning in 11 of 12), and was a judge in Ward/Pudwill (Ward KO win in round 3 of 10). Judge Steve Morrow scored the Ward/Kessler fight, and also Ward/ Henry Buchanan, 2009 (Ward decision in 12), and Ward/Rubin Williams in 2008 (Ward, TKO/doctor stoppage, round 7 of 10)
It’s a very close fight, and it leans toward La Bomba getting this fight to 12 rounds and having the power to do so.
Rodriguez by decision.