The GeeksverseLeaving Proof 128 | The Weekly Digression

Leaving Proof 128 | The Weekly Digression
Published on Friday, June 22, 2012 by

Time for another Weekly Digression into the world beyond comics! Today, we talk about last week’s middleweight title bout between Mexico’s Julio César Chavéz, Jr. and Ireland’s Andy Lee, check in with my continued transition to minimalist running, share some of the more notable game trailer videos from E3 2012, and don’t forget to check out the weekly Mixtape!

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Well, it didn’t take me too long to get over the bad taste of the Pacquiao-Bradley split decision (a fight that, upon review, the WBO says Pacquiao should have won). Some days, it seems like greedy promoters, clueless fight officials, shady sanctioning bodies, and even the occasional outspoken dickhead fighter want nothing more than to drive away boxing fans with their shenanigans. And yet, here we are, talking about Julio César Chávez, Jr.’s win over Andy Lee on HBO World Championship Boxing last Saturday. I guess I love the sport too much to stay away from it for too long.

The fight was for Chávez’ WBC middleweight champion strap, for those of you who care about the alphabet soup of sanctioning body belts that obscures boxing’s ranking these days. Chávez’ WBC title isn’t really held in any sort of high regard due to the fact that most observers don’t think he earned it. It was previously held by Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez—whom The Ring and knowledgeable fans consider the true middleweight champion after he beat lineal middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik in 2010—but due to the byzantine politics and economics of the fight game, Martinez was relieved by the WBC of the belt he won from Pavlik and he was “promoted” to the laughable status of Champion Emeritus, while the “real” WBC belt was awarded to Germany’s Sebastian Zbik, who lost it to Julio César Chávez, Jr. in his first defense.

As the eldest son of El César del Boxeo, Julio César Chávez, the younger Chávez fights under a most unique set of external pressures. His accomplishments in the ring will always pale in comparison to those of his Hall-of-Famer father, arguably the greatest boxer Mexico has ever produced. Boxing writers never seem to tire of pointing out that the scion’s undefeated record is padded with wins against assorted tomato cans in his native Mexico. Boxing fans either shower him with undeserved praises or unfairly rake him over the coals for not being his father.

Chávez, Jr. has gotten a lot better since his days fighting against hand-picked no-hopers but even with legendary trainer Freddie Roach in his corner, his technique remains somewhat crude and his conditioning and gym discipline are a little suspect. Still, I think most observers will agree after Saturday’s win that Chávez, Jr. has, if nothing else, earned the right to challenge Sergio Martinez as a legit (fringe) contender for the lineal middleweight championship, and not just as a famous name to sell pay-per-view orders and gate tickets. One thing about Chávez, Jr. that is often overlooked is his size. At six feet tall with a 73-inch reach, he’s a big, rangy middleweight. Although he rarely “fights tall,” preferring to slug it out in so-called “phone booth warfare,” over his past couple of fights, Chávez, Jr. has learned to use his size to cut off the ring despite his lack of athleticism. He also has a remarkably sturdy chin, perhaps the one boxing attribute he inherited from his celebrated father. He’s never displayed genuine one-punch knockout power, but he has become quite the dedicated two-handed body puncher, grinding down opponents into submission with non-stop winging shots to the liver, gut, and ribs before moving on to the head as he did with the former Olympian Andy Lee in the clip below

http://youtu.be/58PKiLbnNwU?t=2m26s

Martinez and Chávez, Jr. are slated to meet this fall for a unification bout of sorts, and although I think Martinez is the overwhelming favorite going into their match, I think Chávez, Jr.’s combination of size, chin, and relentless body attack gives the Mexican slugger a slim chance of pulling off the massive upset.

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Minimalist running update: If you’re a regular Leaving Proof reader, you’ll remember that I started to incorporate “minimalist running” into my workouts about a month ago. Saint Anselm College anatomy and exercise physiology instructor Peter Larson does an excellent job of explaining what minimalist running is in a 2010 Runblogger post (with links to peer-reviewed journal articles backing up the science) for those of you interested in learning about it and why this may or may not be for you. Anyway, I’ve been doing daily 800 meter runs while wearing minimalist running shoes for the past four weeks and the initial bilateral gastrocnemius tightness that I reported feeling after the first week has all but disappeared. I still haven’t been able to match my best 800 meter time with traditional, cushioned running shoes but I’m getting there. More importantly, my calves and ankles do feel stronger and I’ve yet to experience the return of the chronic left knee pain that I used to accept as an inescapable consequence of regular exercise and running with a torn meniscus.

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Last week, I wrote about how the debut trailer for Ubisoft Montreal’s Watch Dogs game took the assembled gaming press by surprise and got industry tongues wagging at this years Electronic Entertainment Expo. Below are a few of the more notable game trailers that debuted at E3

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This week’s Mixtape (song titles link to corresponding audio/video, if available):

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