Mikey Garcia row reactions....
Iwasa Ryosuke (岩佐亮佑)岩佐亮佑岩佐亮佑岩佐亮佑
Iwasa was a tricky southpaw...whose feints would fade away for a small moment and who'd then become prey instead of a 強い predator.
Figueroa on the left, Molina on the right
What was this fight week like? Like this.
Figueroa feinting, then coming with the up-jab -- which is then parried by a sharp Molina.
Hugo Centeno -- Oscar winner for the best (side) part.
What the lucky Fox broadcasters saw as they left, after three hours, with eight fights left for us non-television folk.
Iwasa backing into a corner...again.
Cool story -- you know the brand Hollister? That's the locale in California where surfer dude -- just kidding; I mean boxing judge -- Steve Morrow lives. Morrow is the guy who had Iwasa winning 98-92 (Iwasa's manager thought he lost, and if he did win, that Hollister margin is as uncool as the current Abercrombie catalog (all about the '90s near-porno circulars). Enter Cesar Juarez, the man I believe was robbed, seen here winging an overhand left into Iwasa's ear.
Iwasa's straight left splitting the Winky Wright earmuffs of Juarez. Okay, so the southpaw landed his money straight left -- why am I , then, giving judge Morrow grief? Because it was a powerless left. He'd push it through the guard but there was no snap action -- it almost seemed like he was wearing '80s aerobic wrist weights to slow his own hands down -- like he knew the 4K camera was broken and was providing slo-motion in real-time free of charge. Also of note: Mr. Too Cool to Watch (Plus He Has a Job) Security Man.
Only we can do that to our pledges!
Alright -- that blow might've knocked Juarez back some. Steve Morrow -- if registering this moment in time is cool...
More Cape Cod Iwasa Iwasa.
And we're the three best friends that anyone could have...
Here comes an Iwasa upper-cut -- maybe that Steve Morrow is a genius.
Iwasa was super straight-up all night, reminded me a lot of Takashi Miura. Dude has some admirably pronounced cheek bones.
"But all I want for Christmas is this little puppy -- pleeeeaaaase?"
"Pretend I'm Mayorga and let's see what happens..."
Juarez goes low for leverage and Iwasa presses him down -- happened repeatedly and irked Jack Reiss, the former fireman who can get you the house of your dreams as a realtor.
According to one person involved in this promotion, I was Shaqtin' a Fool on Twitter. Is it possible I was just very hungry?
Kenny: Are you gonna stay the whole night, even after the Fox broadcast ends, till the Marlon Tapales KO at 3 am on the East Coast?
Errol: I dunno...
Hitman: I put in 8 minutes versus Hagler. Ain't got more to give.
Derrick James: Hell, no, mothereffer -- are you outta your damn mind?
When neither guy was tired, and they weren't leaning on each other, there was some great pocket-pivoting action.
Both guys changing levels with their knees.
And this here is why -- despite all the evidence you've already seen above -- I believe Iwasa lost to Juarez. He would have some success in the middle of the ring, but if Juarez wanted the guy fighting for his life on the ropes, Iwasa voluntarily gave up ground and let himself be shoved baby-style in the corner. Then he'd get battered some. Look, it's a classic question -- do you give more credit for the sallies at the center of the ring, which have a certain attraction, sure, or the pressure work of the come-forward fella?
Juarez wasn't just an aggressor -- he was an effective one, dictating the spacing of the thing (or Iwasa wrongly thought he knew how to box off the back foot -- either way).
Iwasa had no idea, once pinned in the corner, how to respond with clean boxing, so he clinched, pressed down on Juarez's neck, built a stupid, expensive unnecessary wall by stealing money from the military. This is why Jack Reiss -- actually -- warned him and his corner constantly about clinching, neck-pressing, operating a commercial vehicle under the very low arched overpasses of the Henry Hutchinson Parkway.
Oh, and headbutting -- Reiss warned Iwasa about leading with his head - - which he does above blatantly -- not because he's a dirty fight, I don't think, but because he knew he had to slip punches , and his defensive idea of dipping is this telegraphed turtle nonsense.
In the end, it comes back to the star on the marquee -- the headliner -- featherweight champ Leo Santa Cruz. I took this photo Thursday; I love it because it captures the purity and associated appeal of Leo's smile. It's genuine, radiant and very inviting.
Unless we've all been conned, he's the most guileless person in the sport -- just look at how empty the Conga Room at LA Live is in this photo. Leo isn't flashing bleached whites to dupe the media or ingratiate himself with the public. This is a small moment that would have otherwise gone uncaptured by me, had I not walked by just as he broke into a grin.
The sad thing is that while the grin and heart are real they're also there in spite of his father's cancer weighing on his soul. I heard again tonight from someone on the stage at the Microsoft Theater: Leo didn't look particularly good (he landed some vicious liver shots I have no idea how Rivera took -- and Rivera landed his own torso attack), Leo couldn't put this guy away, he took shots, maybe he was distracted by his dad's protracted battle with the disease again.
The person talking was well-informed generally but not in this case's particulars (Leo is also bashful and private). So this was more speculation than wink-wink assertion, I believe. And that's a shame.
A shame we can't evaluate Leo outside of the context of his suffering inside from of his father's diagnosis. Maybe it had no effect last night. But no one can say but Leo. He deserves to have fewer worries -- and to be evaluated on his own terms. I hope he one day is -- and soon.
Speaking of fathers, I had Vampire Weekend's "Harmony Hall" playing in my head all weekend -- the first real track off the band's long-anticipated new album, expected to come out this spring.
Because all week we've seen Leo's ailing dad , and the album's name is "Father of the Bride." And then because of this haunting refrain:
"I don't wanna live like this, but I don't wanna die."