2 boxing matches analyzed

A pair of boxing matches are in focus tonight:

Adonis Stevenson v Tavoris “Thunder” Cloud, going 12 rounds for the WBC light heavyweight title.

First, your challenger:
Cloud is 24-1-0, 19 wins by KO, 1 loss by decision. #6 light heavyweight in the world, #2 in the US. He comes out of that one loss, when facing Bernard Hopkins in March, losing the IBF light heavyweight title in the process. Besides that blemish, he’s scored 3 KOs and 4 decisions in 7 fights of 12 rounds in length. His KOs tends to come in the very latter stages at 12 rounds. This will be his 3rd fight since graduating to 8 rounds where his opponent has 1 loss. This is his first fight north of the border. He hasn’t dispatched an opponent early in a fight since 2008, with a 1st-round KO against Mike Wood, his first title fight.


I don’t like these cycles. The power isn’t there, nor is the passion to continue a long fight. Mentally he’s in better shape, so he can probably guess correctly at what punches will be coming at him.

Stevenson is in his residential base of Quebec tonight. At home, he’s the top ranked light heavywieght, while #2 worldwide. 21-1-0, 18 by KO, losing 1 by KO. So we have two fighters with very high KO % numbers. He’s fought almost exlusively north of the border, and already in his 10th fight at the Bell Centre (and 6th consecutive). In his 8 prior fights, most at 12 rounds, he’s registered 8 straight KO wins, and the majority of those early in the bout.
Claude Paquette is judging a Stevenson bout for the 7th time tonight, all scoring higher for him. Just saying.

Stevenson’s cycles are not all that attractive, tho is about to come out of a triple low. Getting a bit of a sense of his strength but making poor decisions with them.

Not an especially appealing fight, this one. Stevenson by decision.

***

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, vs Brian Vega, middleweights, 10 rounds, in Carson CA
Chavez is 46-1-1, 32 KOs. Comes out of only loss a year ago this month. In so doing, he lost the WBC middleweight title, to Sergio Gabriel Martinez. Outside of that fight, he’s gone 10+ rounds 20 times, with the great majority of his KOs coming early to middle rounds (by 6th or 8th rounds at most). He is in his 5th fight in the state.


Generally OK cycles but he’s feeling the effects of a physical critical day…not being at all in touch with his strength…likely to bleed more and not making good decisions with his punches. He’ll feel undaunted, and still feel inwardly motivated to persevere. Overall his focus is waning.

Vega has a mixed record of 23-6-0, 14 KOs, world middleweight #12, and US middleweight #3. 14th fight going up against an opponent who was undefeated or with 1 loss at fight time. He went 7-6 in those fights. With 14 fights at least 10 rounds, he’s had 6 KOs of varying points in the fight. Reached decision in 8 of last 11. 2nd fight in CA, first one was his first pro loss, as seen on “The Contender”

Can’t get much better than this. Triple high cycles have it all over JCC Jr.

Middle fight KO for Vega.

Boxing’s greatest fight night, analyzed

What else can I add to all the verbiage bestowed on tonight’s mega-mega boxing card at the MGM Grand? Well I plan to provide a bit of insight with some of the boxers’ background in prior fights, plus the usual biorhythmic madness. BoxRec, the source for the info I use, put out a top-level 5-star rating for 3 of the fights. When’s the last time this had occurred?

Ishe Smith vs Carlos Molina for Ishe’s IBF light middleweight title.
Referee Jay Nady will be the third man. Ishe won 2 6-round decisions the only other fights Nady’s been present. For Molina, no such record.

Judges: Adalaide Byrd: Ishe recorded TKO over Ayi Bruce
Bruce Clements: Ishe lost 10-round decision to Joel Julio.
Barry Druxman: Molina has 10-round decision victory over Cedrick Armstrong.

Ishe’s (7/22/78) in his home base of Vegas, and his MGM Grand debut. He is 25-5-0, 11 KOs. He ranks #5 worldwide as a light middleweight, and #2 stateside. This will be just his 3rd fight scheduled for 12. In the prior two, he had won both decisions.

A powerful combo here for Ishe, who’s going to be explosive from the get-go. Very strong physically, good head on shoulders, quite focused. These cycles suggest he’s thinking knockout.

Molina (5-25-83) fights for the 3rd time in Vegas, first at the MGM Grand as well. 4th fight at 12 rounds (2 decisions, 1 DQ). #2 light middleweight worldwide. Just his second fight of the year.

Triple high cycles for the “King” even though they are all starting to turn downward. Pure strength is at a peak, the passion is stronger with him but he’s also somewhat predictable and prone to some errors. Can he make up for it with his power? I’d say yes.

Great fight, this. Calling it a majority decision for Ishe Smith.

****
Danny Garcia vs Lucas Martin Mathysse for the WBA super world light welterweight and WBC light heavyweight titles.

Referee: Tony Weeks was present for a first round TKO by Garcia early in Danny’s career.
Judges: Glenn Trowbridge was involved in two decision wins for Garcia at 8 and 10 rounds. Robert Boyle was present for a 10th round TKO by Mathysse.
Garcia is the world #2 light heavyweight, with a record of 26-0-0, 16 KOs. 6th fight at 12 rounds, 2 of the 5 wins by early KO. 5th fight at MGM Grand, with 1 TKO.

Cycles are rather mixed, a bit on the negative side. Comes in very weak physically, yet very sharp mentally, and a slight emotional drive. He’ll have to rely on some amount of creativity to win as his ‘wisdom’ level is at a mini-peak. His sense of passion is waning.

Matthysse (9/27/82) is the world #1 light welterweight, 34-2-0, with an amazing 32 by KO. That’s 86% of rounds boxed. His record in 12-round fights: 11-1-0, 8 KOs, 6 of those KOs coming in the early stages of the fight (before 5th round). 2nd fight at MGM Grand, winning via 1st round KO in 2007. Met and defeated one other previously undefeated boxer (Olusegun Ajose, 2012).


Inside a triple low, tho his inward motivation is starting to grow. He’s also approaching the fight at his physical nadir, and virtually no focus. He’d likely quit before getting knocked out.

Garcia has the major edge here, so long as he can prolong the fight and not try to take apart Mathysse quickly.

Garcia, majority decision.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs Saul Alvarez, for the WBC light middleweight and WBA super world light middleweight titles.
Referee: Kenny Bayless presided over 2 decision wins and 1 early KO for Mayweather.
Judges:
Dave Moretti has scored 6 prior Mayweather bouts, 1 TKO, 4 unanimous decisions, 1 retirement.
CJ Ross was present for a 1st round KO out of 6 rounds for Mayweather, 1 decision for Alvarez.

Money fights for the 8th straight time at the MGM Grand, 8 wins, 2 by KO. 26 fights at 12 rounds, 9 KOs, 2 in early rounds, 3 in middle, 4 late. 44-0-0 lifetime, 26 KOs.

Money’s defeated two previously unbeaten fighters: Diego Corrales in 2001, TKO 10th of 12, and Ricky Hatton, same result.


Money is very lucky as this fight comes a day before he embraces a triple low. Physical cycle is his saving grace. He’s had some decision-making issues as of late, and his focus has dropped sharply. He’ll have to slug it out and hang on as he’s done in his most recent bouts.

“Canelo” is the top ranked light middleweight worldwide. Record of 42-0-1, all by age 23 is oustanding. Has TKOs in 4 of last 6 fights. He makes his 4th appearance at the MGM grand, with 2 TKOs in those 3 prior. 2 wins against previously unbeatens (Gabriel Martinez, 2008, Euri Gonzalez, 2009, both in his native Mexico).

Alvarez comes in pretty weak physically but very sharp mentally and will get more out of the audience than Money on his opponent’s adopted home turf. The power won’t be there but he’ll be creative enough to keep Money guessing. His inner drive is mediocre but getting better as of late.

Alvarez wins via split decision.

2013 Pacific Classic race analysis

Yesterday was just about crazy. 20 races to handicap, and I hardly made progress. 8 of those races focused on the Saratoga and Del Mar card, and I managed just 1 win, nothing in the money otherwise. Monmouth was much better with 2 wins, Emerald with 1 win, 2 2nds, and Remington was best, as I started Day 1 of that challenge with 2 wins out of 3 races.

Today I have worked on 6 races for Emerald, and 3 at Monmouth. Amazingly, I’m still in the latter. Remington returns on Wednesday.
I also realized that, in the craziness, I failed to deliver analysis of the Travers, but I do have analysis of today’s Pacific Classic, the major race of the day at Del Mar, so here it is, horse for horse:

ENDORSEMENT comes out of a game inside effort at Del Mar on 7/24, 2nd to Indy Point in a 90k restricted stakes race. Considering his inside post, where he’s won his last 2 races, this will make him a contender, albeit an outside one. This is one horse that should be considered in exotics, as I feel he can contend at a price.

HOLDING GLORY ships from Brazil and makes his 2nd US start, usually something of a ‘trap race’ in my eyes. Nevertheless, he has defeated top horses in Brazil and does belong here. ROI angle: Jockey Chantal Sutherland-Kruse so far in 2013 has one win in one start with a closing type horse. Further she’s 1-of-6 running in routes. Both variables led to double digit positive ROI cashings. I did like how this horse rallied in its US debut on this track 8/3. Seems to have enough natural quality to him for contending.

FARRAAJ makes his US debut as well for Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum, with all of his racing done in Europe, mostly in the UK. Stats are lacking per Brisnet, but I do see this angle: Trainer Roger Varlan has shipped foreigners to the US, 1 win, 3 in the money, for an even return of 2.00. What’s more, this horse has also won right off layoff previously. Another outside contender who could surprise.

YOU KNOW I KNOW comes out ofa $62.5k optional claiming race here, putting up a 95 score with a win. One of three horses who will benefit from the track bias. Through today, absolute closers in routes on this surface are winning 41%. Also, horses in posts 4 through 7 are winning 15% of the time. His stats are great but the competition is real tough today.

RICHARD’S KID at age 8 comes out of a G3 win on this track. Benefits from the track bias as per You Know I Know. Very tough to pick here, as no other stats back up his performance.

KETTLE CORN is out of a win here in the San Diego H., (G2), sporting a 104 Brisnet. From that race, he shared winning speed on this track out of this field with Dullahan. Recovering in pace: After his last layoff, he was 2nd with a 100 score in a G2 race at Betfair Hollywood, then 4th with a 97 in another G2 race there, followed up with a breakthrough and lifetime 106, finishing 2nd in the Hollywood Gold Cup. The 106 score was just past his prior best, which occured in last year’s Gold Cup. This is the 3rd of 3 horses who can close firmly and also runs in a middle post, and can benefit from the track bias. Realistically his chances are quite good here.

BYRAMA leads with the top average winning distance from his pedigree among the field (Byron-Aymara, out of Darshaan, all GB bred). Won the Vanity H. at Betfair Hollywood (G1) 3 races back, forging a lifetime best, and exploded past his 3YO best, suggesting further improvement. Best jockey/trainer win% of the field (Gary Stevens, 29%, Simon Callaghan, 21%). Liked his 3rd place finish last race in the CL Hirsch earlier in August; survived a tough trip and really should have won that one.

DULLAHAN after 2 disappointing efforts in Dubai, had a very good trip finishing 3rd in the Arlington H. He is the defending Pacific Classic champ, and had also won last year’s Blue Grass Stakes, both at the G1 level (in fact, these are his last 2 wins to date). His win in the Classic at 104 ties Kettle Corn for fastest winning speed on the track. 8th post position, a middle post today, and he’s fared very well in such an area, with those 2 G1 wins. Definitely a contender.

DELEGATION has the fastest Brisnet of the field, a lifetime best 112, from his impressive win last time out up at Woodbine, July 1. The 112 is also best winning score on all-weather tracks of the field, and the best for 10 furlongs. Best Brisnet to his stalking style in the field. Also a top contender.

GAME ON DUDE, a mainstay on the West Coast and consistently putting up high numbers, has also defeated top company in two Hollywood Gold Cups, the Santa Anita Handicap and the Awesome Again. Has won before from a layoff. Great work tab, 6 works in all at Del Mar, the last one 3rd best of 54. Won one of his Gold Cup and the Santa Anita from an outside post.

JERANIMO won the Eddie Read, the Shoemaker, and the San Gabriel at the G1 level. Trainer Michael Pender has won 29% of races, plus 56% in the money in all graded stakes entered in 2013 for a 3.99 ROI return.

BLUESKIESNRAINBOWS comes out of a game 99 effort, 3rd in the Cougar II Handicap, 7/26. Probably will bounce down from that score.
Pacewise it could be fairly slow, especially with 6 closers in the field. Kettle Corn has the fastest overall speed of those 6. I kinda like him, along those lines.
My selections are these:

10-9-7-1-8 Delegation, Dullahan, Kettle Corn, Endorsement.

Emerald Downs 123racing handicapping analysis for today

No time for Friday Night Fight viewing but I did work on 6 of the races in tonight’s portion of Emerald Downs handicapping challenge. Cutting to the chase, I’m find that the most important variables in the arsenal include:

Results from trip handicapping…seeing which horses have had some trouble, got out of trouble, and still finished like a contender. Or those with ideal trips that had some traffic trouble.
Track bias: matching the patterns from the meet to the run styles and post positions of the applicable horses
Horses who have won multiple races from a general selection of posts (near the rail, near the outside, or somewhere in middle), or otherwise had a better average pace in those areas
Horses bounding back in pace after having an ‘off’ race

I have other sets of data involving jockeys and trainers, plus the application of pace and recent form and lifetime stats. Combining it all, I feel more confident about making intelligent selections.
Tonight at Emerald, I chose these:
Race 2: 7 MOJAVE SECRET: Trainer has 2 wins in 3 races, 3rd also in money, when claiming a horse, then dropping to lower claim price first race used (2.13 ROI). Juan Guitterez/Blaine Wright jockey/trainer combo has best win % in field. Had an off race of 64 last time out, and should bounce back here. Had a very good trip in last race, yielding race in stretch very late.
Race 3: 7 MERRY SHERRY has longest price of my 6 picks. Recovering in pace from last 2 races. Has exploding/forging pace angles as well. Best pace numbers per post, also comes out of a great trip,rallying at finish.
Race 4: 7 BIG PAYDAY should bounce back after a 67 race, that from an 81 lifetime best 2 races ago. Had tough trip but finished competitively in large field.
Race 5: 5 SILVER SNEAKERS has done with a middle post, raced against his closing type last time and was competitive really should have saved more ground prior.
Race 6: 5 DUCOTI is my best. Has outstanding edges in most categories including pedigree, best jockey/trainer, 1st race off reclaim, fastest rated horse and good works.
Race 7: 3 JORDAN’S JEM is best in class, good pace numbers for the track, also has Juan Guitterez/Wenzel connection, both over 20% wins. Wenzel great with horses dropping 2 classes.

Sometime overnight I’ll have trip analysis and ratings of my contenders for the Travers Stakes and Pacific Classic.

future plans for handicapping

hinking of going back to ‘capping (going back to ‘capping..going back to ‘capping. Hm. There’s a song in there). Actually I have been handicapping since a self-imposed ban on posting about it. I’ve taken in a couple of free (that means no-cost to me) online challenges run by 123 racing. One is elimination-style at Monmouth Park..where you get to pick 1 horse per race in 3 chosen races. If you fail to hit the $ you get 2 more chances to avoid being shutout again. And if you last long into the competition, you get another ‘horseshoe’. I’m on my last free horseshoe with a few more weekends to go. Haven’t picked a lot of winners, but the favorites have come in when needed.
At Emerald Downs, a small track in Aurora, WA, the challenge is simply to earn the most based on the mutuel prices, using a $2 win/place/show bet, one hrose per race, in the last 6 races of each card, no elims. I’m in the upper third of all players, consistently getting my shares of wins and placings.
Even tho some major races are ahead this weekend, I have no temptation of gambling, being that I really can’t afford it.
Nevertheless I am redoing my system just a bit to give certain variables more weight, and also include something called trip handicapping. This involves, for me, watching the replay of the last race of each horse entered. It adds maybe another 15 minutes on top of my usual 10-15 minutes per race, but I feel it’s worthy. On my own, I had already felt like I knew how to watch a race, seeing when a jockey calls upon a horse, when horses travel wide, or when they make a move. I think sometimes I fail to see how a horse could have done when hemmed in in the stretch, or similar. And sometimes, having to watch online, you can’t always see how a horse gallops out after the race, seeing who is still full of run after the race.
While that is happening, I found a great instructional video on the almighty YouTube from the folks at HorsePlayerNow, giving equal time to thoroughbred and standardbred (yes, the one’s with the ‘drivers’ in the ‘sulkies’). Both systems can be looked at equally. Hmmm. Maybe I can wean myself away from my difference in understanding past performances in the latter. Meanwhile, I will concentrate on the thoroughbreds. In the video, there are nuggets of wisdom about the type of horse that is either compromised or aided along with the sequences of action in the race.

I paired this with an informative document that looks at a horse’s run style, be it sprinter, closer or somewhere in between. The stress is on pace, positioning and the race shape based on who’s in the field and the collection of styles. Add to this the prevailing track bias, and you have angles that some horseplayers don’t take into account. This is why I absolutely adore Brisnet and their BRIS ratings for including this in their ‘ultimate’ past performances.

So here’s what I have to look forward to this weekend:

Friday I handicap 3 races at Monmouth for Friday, and also the prescribed 6 for Emerald. Total of 9.
Saturday a new challenge, elim style, starts up at Remington Park, and I’m sure that’s 3 races worth. There is 3 more at Monmouth (IF I’m not shut out), 6 at Emerald, and 8 more with a one-day challenge from the folks at Equibase, with a focus on picking 1 horse to win 8 races, using $2 win and place only. The races include 5 major races at Saratoga (including the Travers) and 3 at Del Mar (including the Pacific Classic)
20 races in all.
Sunday? No idea what will be running those days.

I will devote the next handicapping post to  Saturday’s Travers and Pacific Classic, plus pick out a race on Friday for you all. 

Again, I share this info with no intent to gamble, and I do not have any temptation to do so. Frankly, I don’t care whether you do or not. If you do, hopefully you’ll feel armed with good knowledge. 

Cincinnati Open tennis women’s final analysis

Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, World #1 and #2, duel in the finals of the Cincinnati Open, likely their last matches before the US Open at the end of the month.

Serena holds a commanding 13-2 edge in matches head to head, Victoria only finding her wins on the hard court, including earlier this year in Doha, Qatar. It’s their 6th meeting in the championship round.

So how does Victoria win this? Here are the stats she dominated in the matches she lost head to head:
Azarenka routinely outperforms Serena in 1st serve % in her losses, ranging from 60 to 80%
Break points conversion has been at the rate of 50%
Net approaches has ranged from 57 to 80%
2nd service points won ranges from 35 to 50%
In both of Serena’s losses, she still managed to have better net points in aces-to-double faults
Examining this tournament here are the weaknesses in Serena’s game thus far:
2nd service points won (30% from one match)
Break points conversion (averaging 55% across 3 matches where she lost in the category)

Azarenka:
Lost 29 points between aces and double faults, always at the disadvantage in the 4 matches leading up to the final
2nd service points won (averaging 39% across 3 matches)
break points conversion (38% from one match)
Here are Serena’s cycles:

This could be a very challenging day, seeing her possibly outburst, with weakening shot power and a number of unforced errors, probably more double faults. It’s never easy to run into a series of critical days as she has right now.

Victoria:

Her cycles aren’t all that great either….strengthening physically yet it will be at great effort…she will have to rely on her mental game…playing with a bit more finesse than power.and must keep her emotions in check, as her confidence level is rather low. Can she master her game today? Yes she can. Better than Serena? Possibly.

I’m giving this to Serena, in 3 demanding sets tho I will not be surprised to see Victoria win.

Friday Night Fights analysis 8/16/13 analysis

Boxing at US Cellular Field will be a first tonight. The stadium, home to the Chicago White Sox, is just west to the site of the former Comiskey Park (and USCF’s old namesake). On this hallowed ground, boxing takes precedence and the bouts are very good ones on paper.

Artur Szpilka vs Mike Mollo, 10 rounds, heavyweights. This is a rematch, the first bout held on February 1, with Szpilka scoring 3 knockdowns, and the KO in the 6th of 8 scheduled rounds.
Artur is 15-0-0, 11 KOs. The greater majority of his knockouts have come in the first 1/3 of bouts. He’s ranked 24th among all heavyweights, and #3 in his native Poland. Only 5 fights outside of Poland, he’s KO’d each opponent in the US
From www.facade.com
Terrible cycles for “The Pin”, terrible for any boxer, getting close to a triple-low. Potential for success is quite low, tho he might have his opponent miss a few times.

As for Mollo, who hails from nearby Oak Lawn, he’s 20-4-1, 12 KO’s. 1-3-1 in his last 5. Last KO win was in 2007.
From www.facade.com
Mollo has the opposite cycles, approaching a triple-high, and all should be right with the world.

Mollo should be able to pull out a late-fight KO.

Andrzej Fonfara vs Gabriel Campillo, 12 rounds, light heavyweights.
Andrzej is 23-2-0, 13 wins by KOs. Ranked #9 worldwide in his class, #1 in Poland. Residing in Chicago, the great majority of his recent fights have taken place in the nearby UIC Pavilion. Outside of one no contest, he’s got 10 straight wins, 9 by KOs. All of his KOs have come early or midway through a fight, the slight majority in the middle.
From www.facade.com
Great cycles in play today, tho physical might be feeling a bit more sluggish. Shouldn’t have much of an issue tonight.
Campillo is 22-5-1, 9 KO wins. #27 worldwide in his class, best of those in Spain.
“Chico Guapo” is 1-2-1 in his last 4 fights.
Has lost all 3 of his US fights. Great majority of his KOs come in the middle stages.
From www.facade.com
Mixed bag here, also good physically and feels rather passionate, but is prone to making more mental errors tonight.
Fonfara by decision.