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HARD DOG BITES: Hunter's Stock Drops & Broner's Dubious Career Arc


By Blake Chavez

Virgil Hunter usually comes off as a cool customer, but in the second half of Amir Khan’s fight vs Chris Algieri, the Bay Area hipster trainer was literally sweating bullets while begging his charge to dig to Algieri’s body. He pleaded with Amir to stay in close when the going got tough, and to avoid running. Interesting to see Hunter in what appeared to be sheer panic-mode. It’s a good thing that Amir followed his own instincts and boxed his way to the win to keep himself in the Mayweather sweepstakes. Hey, like the mantra of Al Davis, Bernard Hopkins, and "Money" Mayweather dictates... just win, Baby! After all, that was the end game, right?

I just found it amusing that Hunter basically ended up advocating a Freddie Roach-type game plan, and had no inkling that Algieri would go beast-mode on Amir. And I do feel Khan may indeed have been over-trained after an insanely long camp. With Hunter losing some of his trademark cool in the corner, his not having a Plan B in place, and showing up on fight night with a flat, over-trained fighter... it all adds up to me questioning the hype of Hunter being a super-elite trainer.

Adrien Broner could seriously disappear should he lose his upcoming tussle with Shawn Porter. Why would Al Haymon put Broner in with a physically imposing brawler that has a frame that allowed him to campaign in the 154 pound range in his amateur days? Porter has claimed he weighed 175 playing high school football. Broner may get run over and mashed up.

Paulie Malignaggi, whose style has never been described as physical, effectively kept Broner off of him for about ten rounds in their clash. But Porter straight-out punked Paulie when they met, basically taking everything but Malignaggi’s manhood. Broner is smallish, even at the catchweight. Look for Porter to son AB easily. How marketable would Broner be then?

Matching AB with Maidana, and now Porter, leads me to believe AB is no longer the protected Love Child of Haymon. AB would do well to start counting, on his fingers and toes if need be, the millions he will miss out on should he get brutalized. It puzzles me why AB would settle for banking a mere million here, another two million there, to engage very dangerous cavemen such as Maidana, and now Porter... when he could be commanding $7-$15 million PPV purses throwing down with the ancient likes of Pacman and Floyd Jr.? I’m not saying AB would win, just musing that his purses would swell enormously and his risks would shrink to nothing as a loss to those legends won’t hurt him at all. A loss to Porter and he gets crucified in the media.

The public is drawn to AB. He’s a master at promoting his fights as the most colorful and quotable young fighter on the planet. He’s just 26 years old, very talented, and owns titles in three weight divisions. Personally, I’d much rather plunk down my dough to see AB rumble with those legendary old men than get swindled out of my greenbacks with such mediocre fare as Floyd Jr. vs. burned-out fighters like Mosely, midgets like Marquez, rusty robots like such as Guerrero, and head-cases such as Victor Ortiz. Yes, sir... I’ll take "Money" vs AB all day long. Talk about entertainment. Imagine the buzz, the interest, and the intrigue of a Floyd Mayweather Jr. versus Adrien "The Problem" Broner mega-fight. Heck, I’d happily settle for Pacman vs AB rather than laying out the cash I did to see Pac bitch-slap Algieri, Clottey, Mosley, and Rios.

Pet-Peeves From The Peanut Gallery: Trainers please refrain from wearing sun-glasses when working the corner. Many at the elite level do so shamelessly and I find it both offensive as well as dangerous. World class boxing matches are not the place for trainers to attempt to make a fashion statement. By wearing sunglasses, they are jeopardizing their fighter’s health and adversely affecting their own ability to discern the truth of how the bout is unfolding. A clear, unobstructed view of the proceedings best allows trainers to process what is transpiring. Hopefully they can then formulate a plan for dealing with what they’ve seen and convey that advice to their fighters via between rounds instructions.

Trainers must rely primarily on their vision to analyze the opponent for vulnerabilities, evaluate the effectiveness of their own game-plan--on-the-fly, accurately interpret nuanced reactions such as an opponent wincing slightly in response to a body shot. Trainers are entrusted with the safety and lives of their fighters. They must read their fighter’s eyes for warning signs, objectively gauge the severity of cuts/bleeding/swelling, judge with pin-point accuracy his fatigue factor while expertly calculating the wear and tear absorbed, as it is all a matter of degree that is in a constant state of flux as the fight wears on.

The trainer must also discern how those very same variables are affecting the opponent. So how in the hell can a trainer, in good conscience, go into battle with his major weapon--his vision-- obscured by dark glasses? Shame on them.

I understand that the television lights are bright and some may chalk up the shades to an attempt to eliminate glare. Nonsense. This is really about common sense. A surgeon works in similar conditions, operating under excruciatingly bright lights. I’ve yet to hear of a surgeon wearing shades during an operation, much less one complaining about glare. Why? Because they can’t afford to miss anything. It’s a matter of life and death. For trainers, they are the surgeons and the fight is their operation.

The show is about the fighter, so trainers--handle your business. Be a consummate professional. You would be amazed just how clear the action really is under the lights. It’s a shame some of you are missing some great fights! If I was your fighter I would insist you can the goggles and give me your best. Because, as this man says: "Fighting ain’t no jazz festival".

Gabriel & Pablo Sarmiento-- their main claims to fame were as trainers to ex-champ Sergio Martinez. Worst offender award to Gabriel for his super-dark shades. Brother Pablo is right behind him. Virgil Hunter: I’ve seen pics of Hunter sporting clear glasses, so why not wear those in the corner. If you land the Mayweather fight you are going to need 100% visual acuity sir, trust me on that. Hunter and Kevin Cunningham sport the lighter tinted model of sunglasses. Joel Diaz is said to have one bad eye and he’s working in shades? Imagine that. Buddy McGirt... just quit it. C’mon guys, time to do the right thing... the right way, and check the ego at the dressing room. There is plenty of time to look cool in shades during the promotion.

Blake Chavez answers all of his emails---

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