This Saturday on PPV former WBA Lightweight Champion Brandon Rios (29-1 with 22 KOs) and future Hall of Famer Juan Manuel Marquez (53-6-1 with 39 KOs) will face separate opponents in hopes of setting up a hardcore boxing fans’ dream fight between each other in July.
Rios will face the long, lanky, and awkward Richard Abril (17-2-1 with 8 KOs) while Marquez will face the shorter, stockier, and hairier Serhiy Fedchenko (30-1 with 13 KOs). This author is not a big fan of tune-up fights prior to potential super fights for numerous reasons. One reason being is due to the fact that it’s very difficult for the fighters to not overlook their tune-up opponents and to remain as mentally focused as they would be for a bigger fight, which could potentially lead to a loss and the super fight disintegrating.
Another reason I am not a fan of tune-up fights is because they present an additional opportunity for one or both of the fighters to sustain a cut and/or other injury that could potentially delay the super fight for an indefinite period of time.
Abril and Fedchenko will undoubtedly have trained like never before for the biggest fights of their lives, and although Marquez and Rios will state that they have trained extremely hard, given the fact that the sport is disproportionally more mental than physical, even if they did train as hard as normal for their fight, it would take a special fighter to be as mentally prepared for these tune-up fights as he would be for a super fight.
Floyd Mayweather comes to mind when I think about this. Mayweather appears to be both mentally and physically prepared for each and every one of his opponents regardless of whether they are a future Hall of Famer or Henry Bruseles. That, in addition to his prodigious talent, skills and accomplishments is precisely the reason why in this author’s opinion he is the number one pound for pound boxer on the planet and has been for years.
The mental and psychological aspect of boxing is the most underrated part of the game in my opinion. So much emphasis is placed on the physical attributes of a fighter when it has been proven time and time again that no matter how physically gifted a fighter is, if he either isn’t as mentally tough and/or focused as his less gifted opponent, he will frequently be in for a long night. I don’t mean to insinuate that physical attributes do not play a role in a fight because they do, but what separates the “very goods” from the” greats” is what they have on the inside. The mind dictates everything, and all the greats I can think of had...
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