Boys To Men: Which Boy Will Man UP

Day 14: Done…Another day down as we scratch day #14 off the books and sit exactly two weeks from the day of reckoning. In today’s piece we ask the question, “Which Boy Will Man Up”? Will it be the “Golden Boy”, or the “Pretty Boy” to step up and impose his will on the other? Although this won’t be a prediction, (we’ll save that for the day of the fight), this piece will go in depth about the styles and possible direction of the fight once the fellas finally square off. Before The Bell Pre-fight body language tells a lot. Sometimes it tells it all. Who could forget the usually chaotic Ricardo Mayorga nervously starring into space before his showdown with Oscar Dela Hoya? Or the somewhat aloof appearing Lennox Lewis in the moments before his showdown with Hasim Rachman in their first fight (loss). What about the typically high pitched Roy Jones Jr. before his second showdown with Antonio Tarver? In each of these cases it appeared that the fighter who would eventually end up losing was the one who appeared somewhat outside of his normal demeanor. At other times you get the exact opposite effect where certain fighters seem to be a little more upbeat than normal and later get in the ring to receive an absolute beating. Evander Holyfield as an example came to the ring singing before his showdown with James “Lights Out” Toney, only to end up receiving one of the most lopsided losses of his career. Or maybe the pumped up Diego Corrales before his recent debacle at the hands of Joshua Clottey. Too much of a change in either direction is normally a sure sign of possible trouble in the making. Oscar is always more focused and locked in moments before his fights and as odd as it may seem, those who’ve followed Floyd Mayweather Jr. know that despite how much he yaps during press conferences, his fight night demeanor is normally a very intense and focused one as well. The whole pre-fight demeanor sketch will undoubtedly play a role in which fighter actually shows up when the bell rings. After The Bell Over the course of years we’ve seen a variation of both fighters. There have been some fights when Oscar seems a bit robotic, displaying poor footwork and defense. Other night’s where his footwork and defense are in order but his offense is a bit out of rhythm. Floyd on the other hand has had a few nights where he takes more shots than you’re used to seeing, or doesn’t take advantage of certain opportunities like you’ve seen him do in the past. This is all key because to the naked eye, most see Floyd as a perfect fighter because of his unblemished record but for those of us who are students of the fight game that actually study tape, the same flaws I mentioned will be the same ones that Freddie Roach will attempt to take advantage of. This is the biggest fight of their careers so if there was ever a night to bring your “A” game, this would be it, but executing it against a legend is another story. At this point we’re still a ways off so we’ll hold the predictions, but if I was putting money on it, I would be paying as much attention to the pre-fight demeanor as anything else. Was Oscar accurate when he said that Floyd’s talking so much because he’s nervous? Was Oscar showing a vulnerability himself when he stated that “he doesn’t fear Floyd’s punching power but realizes that the punch you don’t see is the one that hurts the most”? All of these things will play a major role in the final product on the night of May 5th. It’s only two weeks away, yet still, “THE WORLD AWAITS”!!! Analyzing these guys prior to the fight will give some insight, but there’s only one way to truly find out which boy will man-up…That’s tune in to HBOPPV. Tomorrows installment of the countdown (Day #13) will cover a very interesting topic. A Boxing fight is a major chess match in the sense that strategies play a big part. Well, what happens when two great strategist come together? Something’s not gonna go according to plan for someone involved. The featured article will be entitled {Spin-Master: “Which Dela Hoya/Mayweather Strategies May Backfire”}? Check it out as we continue to draw closer to the biggest promoted fight in Boxing history.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.