Let’s take a look back at the first 6 months of 2014 through the eyes of Jordan Belfort. We’ll leave out the curse words and Quaaludes and focus more on what’s actually worth investing in. Or not.
Top Stock of Mid 2014
Terence Crawford – WBO lightweight champion 2(1)-0 in 2014
Crawford is 26 and signed to Top Rank promotions. In March, Crawford went across the pond to Scotland to face long-reigning lightweight champion Ricky Burns. Burns’s controversial draw over Ray Beltran loomed in everyones mind and everyone wondered if Crawford would get a fair shake against Burns. Burns’s fans yelled “Jeff Lacy” and told everyone Crawford would be yet another American hype-job who failed when he stepped up.
Crawford blitzed through Burns. The action was one-sided enough that there was no way the judges could mess up the decision.
Crawford followed his victory up by defending his newly won title against dangerous undefeated Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa. On paper, it promised to be an electrifying technical battle between masterful boxers. In reality, it delivered a fight of the year contender that had a little of everything. Both guys boxed beautifully, both were hurt, both banged it out, but it was Crawford who was the better man dropping and finishing Gamboa.
No stock is higher than Crawford’s right now.
So, buy or sell on Crawford? Buy. Buy it all up. Crawford is making the move up to 140 and he’s got the size, skill, and power to dominate all the way up to 147.
I Can’t Afford Crawford Right Now, Who Else?
Essentially, these are the guys who are runner up to the mid-year fighter of the year.
Manny Pacquiao – WBO welterweight champion 1-0 in 2014
Pacquiao finished off 2013 by essentially engaging in a sparring session with Brandon Rios. He showed he still had his speed, but there were still a ton of questions about how he’s going to fare when he’s got a live dog in front of him. Try an ultra-athletic, bulldog willed boxer in his prime. If that’s not enough, it was a guy who had shown an absurd amount of growth as a boxer in the past year. Pacquiao faced Timothy Bradley in April and did what many thought he could no longer do. Pacquiao controlled the fight. He countered beautifully and showed he was still the same Pacman pre-knockout.
Pacquiao is back on top and a Mayweather fight has regained some of the luster it had before he lost to Marquez.
Buy or sell on Pacquiao? You gotta buy. The Top Rank pool is shallow and so is the non-Top Rank non-Al Haymon pool. In fact, all the welterweights not signed with Al Haymon would be underdogs against Pacquiao.
Carl Froch – IBF & WBA super middleweight champion 1(1)-0 in 2014
If we’re counting purely spectacle, Froch edges out Crawford. Nearly selling out your hometown arena in Omaha is one thing, but packing 80,000 fans into Wembley stadium was simply chilling. Froch then put months of promotion, of pestering, of antagonizing from George Groves to rest by putting Groves to sleep.
No win was sweeter this year. Not even Pacquiao’s over Bradley. Sure, Bradley scored an underserved win over Pacquiao, but at least Pacquiao knew in his heart he won. Froch was vilified for his win over Groves. Fans shredded him across the internet claiming Groves was the better man. Groves taunted him and teased him for seeing a sports psychologist. Froch put it all aside and won back a lot of fans by doing exactly what he said he’d do.
Buy or sell on Froch? Buy. It’s risky, but could pay off huge. Froch doesn’t have many options at 168 that post major threats to him. He’s already stated that he’s not too interested in a fight with Andre Ward (in the case it does happen, sell all your Froch stock) and that he’d like to face Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. If he faces Chavez, you’ll laugh all the way to the bank. The other opposition for him is James “Chunky” DeGale who’s still a prospect at this point. Remember that Froch is also 37. He may only have one last ride if any at all.
Vasyl Lomachenko – WBO featherweight champion 1-1 in 2014
Lomachenko is already becoming something of a legend. He started the year off by losing to Orlando Salido, but it was one of those eye opening losses that leaves you encouraged about a fighters future. Lomachenko was like a self-aware robot in that fight, losing many of the early rounds, but by the final round he was the one in control and nearly finished Orlando Salido. The masterclass from the doctor of dirty fighting taught Lomachenko everything he needed to know going forward and Salido damn near lost the fight despite the 20 pound weight advantage and low blows.
Lomachenko followed his loss by facing undefeated and long-heralded top prospect Gary Russell Jr. The fastest hands in the west, some said… It turned out that those fast hands were all sizzle and that’s it. Lomachenko put on a clinic. He beat Russell to the punch, he hurt him multiple times, and overall he just looked like a guy who’s been fighting professionally for 8 years.
The future is bright for Lomachenko and if you read his interviews, you know he won’t stop gunning for the top dogs. He wants to unify one of the most talent rich divisions in boxing and isn’t afraid of losing.
Buy or sell on Lomachenko? In short, buy. The explanation is this: are there any other featherweights you would rather buy? Do you favor another featherweight over Lomachenko? Here are your options at featherweight: Nonito Donaire, Evgeny Gradovich, Nicholas Walters, Jhonny Gonzalez, Lee Selby, Abner Mares, Vic Darchinyan(!?), Marvin Sonsona, Simpiwe Vetyeka, Lee Selby (!). Who do you like to beat Lomachenko? There isn’t a clear cut guy I’d say beats him. Buy Lomachenko.
The Best Sell High Stocks of Mid 2014
The hype train ends here. There are plenty of guys who scored good wins and more that did impressive things, but it may very well be fools gold. You may want to sell these guys before it’s too late.
Ruslan Provodnikov – junior welterweight division 0-1 in 2014
It’s tough to sell on a guy who will consistently give good fights, but this game is about winning. We’ve learned just about all we’re going to learn about Provodnikov. At this point, he is who he is. He’s a face forward brawler who can easily be stymied by movement and a good jab. Keep your hands moving and Provodnikov can’t get a punch off. He lacks any real creativity to open defensive fighters up and his losses to Bradley, Chris Algieri, and Mauricio Herrera all show it.
Provodnikov has a ton of power, but power is one of the first things you want to throw out when accessing a fighter. It’s good to have, but without the guile to properly utilize it, it’s a waste. Unless Provodnikov is in without another fighter who’s going to stand in front of him and bang, stay away.
Why sell high? People love power and brawlers. I’m sure there are tons that still think Provodnikov is a nice commodity because he runs from nobody. Sure… (Invest in Viktor Postol instead.)
Omar Figueroa – WBC lightweight champion 1-0
Figueroa was off for over a year before stepping back in with Jerry Belmontes and it could have been ring rust that caused him to look so bad… except that wasn’t the first time Belmontes had beat him. Figueroa proved against Belmontes what I’d suspected before. That is, put him in with a guy that knows how to box and he’ll struggle.
The fight told me that Figueroa might be a lot more hype than anything else. He had no answer other than to keep trying to fight on the inside. Last year, Figueroa went life and death with Nihito Arakawa who Jorge Linares (a guy famous for cuts and not taking punches too well) shut out.
Sell on Figueroa. He’s got some pop and he may even still be successful, but the end will come. The writing’s on the wall.
Marcos Maidana – welterweight challenger 0-1 in 2014
Maidana’s stock is at an all-time high. He made AB stand for Argentina’s Bi… Boy and then goes on and shocks the world by nearly beating the pound-for-pound king. So why is he on the sell high list? Mostly because he’s set for a September rematch with Floyd Mayweather. If there’s one thing we know about Mayweather, it’s that he’s the most intelligent fighter in the game. If you want evidence, look at the one rematch he’s had. Everyone and their dog thought Castillo beat Floyd the first time around. All Castillo had to do was… you know… do the same thing, right? Well, Floyd would have none of that. Floyd destroyed Castillo and ended up stopping him.
Maidana’s performance against Mayweather looks like it was at the absolute peak of what it could be. He threw close to 100 punches a round. He tried every angle including MMA style knees. None of that will work the second time around.
Sell your Maidana stock while there are still suckers around to buy it.
Chris Algieri – WBO junior welterweight champion 2-0
Yes, I know, Algieri has had a hell of a year… but what do we really know about Algieri? We know that he can beat Friday Night Fight’s level fighters and we know he can beat guys who think boxing is about standing in the pocket and trading. That’s all. He’s still unproven. He’s still in a dangerous division. He’s still not very heavy handed. He’s a masterful boxer, that’s for sure, but that should be taken with a grain of salt given he just outboxed a guy that was thawed from a glacier.
Sell your Algieri stock while you can make some cash. You may end up being wrong, but you won’t lose out on too much money in the long run. Besides, he’s probably going to face Pacquiao in the fall. Sell before any official statement comes out.
Amir Khan – welterweight contender 1-0 in 2014
There’s a lot to love about Khan. He’s got lightning quick hands, he throws beautiful combinations, his answer to an opponents offense is better offense… basically everything you loved about the D’Antoni Suns… oh wait, so you’re telling me Khan put that all behind him and has adapted the Andre Ward style of punch punch hold? Not even clinching, but holding!? Okay, sell the stock. He may win, but it’s only a matter of time before that becomes yet another bankrupt tactic.
Stocks That Rose A Lot In Mid 2014
Miguel Cotto – Lineal & WBC middleweight champion of the world 1(1)-0 in 2014
Cotto’s stock saw a massive surge following his win over the middleweight champion of the world. Does that mean Cotto is the new middleweight king because he wears the crown? Not exactly. Until we see Cotto beat a full-fledged and healthy middleweight, let’s reserve judgement. (My advice: Sell. Martinez looked like he had borrowed one knee from Andrew Bynum and another from Rey Mysterio Jr.)
Gennady Golovkin – IBO & WBA middleweight champion 1(1)-0 in 2014
There are few stocks with a selling price higher than Golovkin’s. He’s on a streak of 16 straight knockouts. He’s got Daniel Geale coming up and you’d be foolish to overlook Geale. (My advice: Buy. Geale is the first real test of Golovkin’s career. If GGG wins, it will be tough to find anyone willing to sell their precious Golovkin stock.)
Carlos Cuadras – WBC super flyweight champion 1-0 in 2014
If you’re interested in investing in a division where few will, this is your guy. A 25 year old Mexican with an amateur pedigree who upset a champion in his first world title attempt. The division is weak. Omar Andres Narvaez can’t be champion forever. He’s already 38. At that age they start giving out social security checks in the super flyweight division. (My advice: Go all in. The future is Cuadras. Mark my words.)
Robert Guerrero – welterweight contender 1-0 in 2014
Guerrero came back with a vengeance, fighting to the death against Yoshihiro Kamegai. If there’s one thing Guerrero proved, it’s that he can still give one hell of a fight. Guerrero’s stock rises after his dismal performance against Floyd Mayweather. (My advice: Sell. The Golden Boy pool is too deep and there are some real sharks lurking.)
James DeGale – super middleweight contender 2(2)-0 in 2014
DeGale was a favorite against American and Andre Ward stablemate Brandon Gonzalez, but nobody expected him (except for maybe him) to do what he did to Gonzalez. Chunky looked spectacular. Gonzalez looked like he was being hit with a sledgehammer every time DeGale connected. (My advice: Buy. As much as you can. DeGale may never beat Andre Ward, but it’s tough to imagine another super middleweight beating him if he continues progressing like he has.)
Nonito Donaire – Lineal & WBA featherweight champion 1-0 in 2014
Donaire looked to return to form a bit against Simpiwe Vetyeka, although as time goes on we are realizing more and more that Donaire’s aura of invincibility may have been more hype and matchmaking than anything else. Either way, Donaire showed his left hook is still murderous and when he’s got his head in the game, he’s nearly unstoppable. (My advice: Buy. Donaire will still be a favorite over most featherweights and I can’t see them making Lomachenko vs Donaire anytime soon.)
Mauricio Herrera – junior welterweight contender 0-1 in 2014
Herrera scored a moral victory over Danny Garcia by giving off the illusion to everyone that he beat Garcia. Well, except for the judges. In truth, it was a close fight and if Herrera edged it, it came with a few swing rounds going his way. Those who know Herrera know that that’s what he does. (My advice: Buy. Herrera is 34, but thanks to his late start is still fresh in the game. He’s got an iron chin and is a live dog against anyone.)
Shawn Porter – IBF welterweight champion 1(1)-0 in 2014
Porter’s the guy who called next on the welterweight division. What he did to Paulie Malignaggi yielded more ‘wow, that’s just sad’ comments more than ‘Porter is a beast!’ It’s rare to hear those types of comments in boxing. (My advice: Buy. Porter is here to stay. He’s the future at welterweight.)
Bryant Jennings – heavyweight contender 1(1)-0 in 2014
Jennings’s win should have gotten a bit more recognition than it did. Szpilka wasn’t a bad heavyweight. He was a guy with a nice amateur background and Jennings beat him to the punch and stopped him late when he could’ve coasted to victory. Jennings looks like a heavyweight who’s been brought along the right way. We’ll have to wait and see where Jennings goes from here. He should easily get past Mike Perez on the Golovkin undercard. (My advice: Buy. Now is the time to invest in this division and you can’t go wrong with Jennings.)
Stocks That Dropped A Lot In 2014
Javier Fortuna – super featherweight prospect 2(1)-0 in 2014
Fortuna was discovered by the same guy that discovered Manny Pacquiao and Sergio Martinez. When Fortuna started fighting in America, he looked explosive and like he was the next big southpaw in the sport. Fortuna has since taken a nose dive since 2012 when he fought on the Pacquiao-Marquez IV undercard. He’s regressed to the point that this is what he looked like at the end of his last fight. It’s probably a good idea to sell on this guy. (My advice: Sell. Sell it all.)
Jose Pedraza – super featherweight prospect 2(1)-0 in 2014
Pedraza looked like he might be one of the best young prospects in the world and would carry on the long tradition of Puerto Rican excellence. Well, not really. He’s looked average and it may be that he’s just not the elite fighter we thought he was when he was coming up. Not that he won’t be good or capture a title some day, but simply that he should be sold as such. (My advice: Sell. Buy Felix Verdejo instead.)
Lucas Matthysse – junior welterweight prospect 1(1)-0 in 2014
I’m willing to accept the argument that Matthysse struggled early with John Molina due to ring rust. But really, let’s look at the facts. Matthysse was dropped against Garcia, continued to throw one punch at-a-time and failed to make any adjustment. He then followed it up by struggling against John Molina, a guy who fought mostly at lightweight. Matthysse’s biggest fault so far is his corner and their lack of creativity with his offense. Until Matthysse makes some big changes, nearly every fight against a viable opponent is at the very least 50-50. Sell while you still can. (My advice: Buy. He’s rumored to be facing Adrien Broner. It’ll be close, but Matthysse should have the advantage.)
Andre Ward – Lineal & WBA super middleweight champion
Look around any place where people discuss boxing and you’ll see people are unanimously down on Ward. For what reason? Inactivity. Choosing to fight battles in the court room. Conflicting stories. Those are just a few reasons. I’d advice to keep your stock in Ward, and buy more if you can. He’s still one of the best fighters on the planet. Take advantage of impatient fans. (My advice: Don’t be stupid. Buy.)
Stocks That Are Garbage Fires And You Should Sell Immediately If You Haven’t Already
Sergio Martinez – Former King of Middleweights 0-1 in 2014
Martinez is all but done. His knees can now be mentioned in the same sentence as other legendary pairs of knees such as those belonging to Brandon Roy, Greg Oden, Andrew Bynum, and Yao Ming. While it’s unlikely Martinez fights again, you should still sell the stock for whatever you can get.
Evander Holyfield – Former heavyweight champion
Whether you knew it, assumed it, or even cared, the Real Deal officially announced his retirement from the sport. Those who still have some Holyfield stock that they forgot to sell off back in the late 90s should promptly do so to others that think there’s one last come back for the former champion.
Chad Dawson – Julio Cesar Chavez Jr division 1(1)-0 in 2014
I’m not sure what division Dawson is currently fighting in. It’s somewhere between light heavyweight and cruiserweight. He had a nice stoppage victory over George Blades on the Lomachenko-Russell undercard, but it’s time to sell. You can still get something in return.
Mike Perez – heavyweight contender o-0-1 in 2014
This could be a bit preemptive, but Perez should be sold immediately. When fighters get into traumatic fights like the one Perez was in with Magomed Abdusalamov, it has a tendency to change them. What we saw in Perez’s fight with George Takam all but confirmed it. Perez looked like he wasn’t these same guy anymore. Abandon ship on this one.
Penny Stocks aka Buy Dirt Cheap & Stash
Erickson Lubin – welterweight prospect 4(4)-0 in 2014
Lubin is a welterweight that is 6 feet tall. While there’s still a ton of questions to be answered with him, you should invest heavily based on raw attributes. Not to mention he was one of the top American amateurs before he turned pro.
Ievgen Khytrov – middleweight prospect 4(4)-0 in 2014
When Khytrov turned pro, there were a lot of whispers that he could be the next Gennady Golovkin. He has a deep amateur background that includes a World Amateur Championship as well as multiple medals in various tournaments and championships.
Sergey Khomitsky – super middleweight contender 1(1)-0 in 2014
Those who hold a stake in Khomitsky probably aren’t going to sell on him. This guy is mostly a domestic fighter who fights out of Belarus. He had a legit argument in his fight with Martin Murray and just upset super middleweight prospect Frank Buglioni by knocking him out. He faces Robert Stieglitz in his next fight and you’d be wise to bet Khomitsky on this one.
Adrien Broner – junior welterweight contender? 1-0 in 2014
We all like to laugh at Broner and it’s fair. He’s put his foot in his mouth more than once. The truth is, there is some talent there. Whether it’s ever brought out remains to be seen, but it’s tough to pass up a guy as athletic as him. Buy his stock, water it, wait.
The Best Buy Low Stocks Of 2014
These are the guys that have seen their stock plummet, but that shouldn’t be overlooked. Stash these guys for a relatively low price with the promise that they’ll prove you right at some point in the future. And if you can’t… you didn’t pay too much in the first place anyway.
George Groves – super middleweight contender 0-1 in 2014
Groves just got put to sleep. That makes it 2 stoppage losses in a row at the hands of Carl Froch. What we do know about Groves is that he’s an awkward fighter with a very good jab. You’d be wise to invest in a guy for cheap that probably won’t lose in his division unless he’s fighting Andre Ward or Carl Froch. This is a risk worth taking.
Kazuto Ioka – flyweight contender 0-1 in 2014
Ioka lost a razor thin decision to Amnat Ruenroeng in his first fight at flyweight. There’s a consensus that maybe Ioka was out of his element trying to play with the big boys at flyweight, but I’m not buying it. Ruenroeng got a lot of the swing rounds in his favor and if you replace the 3 judges with 3 different ones, you may get a different decision. I think Ioka’s still growing as a fighter and has yet to truly enter his prime.
Austin Trout – junior middleweight contender
Trout’s coming off 2 straight losses against 2 of the top junior middleweights in the world. Chalk it up to styles more than anything. Trout was never going to out-slick Lara and the Alvarez fight was close. Remember that Trout is less than 2 years removed from a wide victory over Miguel Cotto. Trout returns in August on Friday Night Fights. Trout is 28 and talented enough to not be counted out yet. If only the junior middleweight division wasn’t so stacked…
Danny Garcia – lineal, WBC, and WBA junior welterweight champion 1-0 in 2014
You might be asking yourself why the heck is the lineal champion of any division on the buy low list? Well, there’s a tendency in boxing circles to have a memory of 15 minutes. Guys are usually only as good as their last fight. My evidence? Some pound for pound lists rank Marcos Maidana in the top 10. Garcia struggled badly in his last fight, but those who put a lot of weight into it are guys that haven’t watched too much Mauricio Herrera. Herrera’s got a gritty style that Carlos Molina enjoys to watch. Garcia struggled, but he’ll come back better than ever.
Yuriorkis Gamboa – lightweight contender 0-1 in 2014
Gamboa looked sensational against Terence Crawford for the opening 4 rounds and managed to hurt him the round before Crawford finished him. Normally, after a devastating loss like that it’s 50-50 whether a fighter will ever be the same. I’m confident that the odds are in Gamboa’s favor to return to form. He took responsibility for the loss and is looking to come back stronger than ever. He should be selling for pennies on the dollar.
Adonis Stevenson – Lineal and WBC light heavyweight champion 1-0 in 2014
Like with Garcia, a few bad rounds and suddenly you’re garbage. Many are selling Stevenson stock at Buy One Get One rates. Buy it all up. Stevenson is the real deal. If Emanuel Steward thought he was, I do too.
Akira Yaegashi – Lineal and WBC flyweight champion 1-0
The only reason Yaegashi is on this list is because he’s cheap. He’s cheap because nobody really knows about him. Yaegashi’s price dropped even more when he signed to fight the boogeyman of the smaller classes. The reason why you should buy cheap is that Gonzalez is just as overrated as Golovkin is. While all the signs point to Gonzalez being a true terror at his weight class, he’s never proved it on the highest stage. Yaegashi is a guy who knows how to will out a win. This is a safe risk.
Glen Tapia – junior middleweight prospect 1(1)-0 in 2014
Tapia has done good for himself aligning with Freddie Roach. Tapia was brutalized by James Kirkland (where the hell is Kirkland?) and it was only after Tapia gassed. Tapia is still young and talented. You can get him dirt cheap and hold on for a long time. You know he’ll be back on HBO in no time.
Stocks That Stood The Same But You Should Buy If You Don’t Have Them Yet
Roman Gonzalez – flyweight contender 2(2)-0 in 2014
Roman Gonzalez aka Chocolatito is a little tanned man from Nicaragua. A documentary on his career as a boxer would have an overtone similar to a National Geographic documentary on the chupacabra. Gonzalez is a bad dude. He seeks and he destroys. He’s like a combination of Mike Tyson and Gennady Golovkin. It’s tough to imagine anyone in his division beating him. This one is a no-brainer.
Keith Thurman – welterweight contender 1(1)-0 in 2014
Thurman just might be the future of the welterweight division. If it’s not Shawn Porter, it’s him. His fight with Julio Diaz was disappointing, only because it was so short and didn’t reveal anything. Either way, Thurman has huge upside. If Thurman turns out, he could be the king of the welterweight division and become a pay-per-view staple. If not, he’ll be just another guy who hits hard.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr – 160-200 lb division 1-0 in 2014
Chavez Jr is what he is. He’s a terrific brawler with one of the best chins in boxing. Is he going to outbox Andre Ward? Not in a million years… but will he always hang on to a 1% hail mary chance in any fight simply because he’ll never be counted out? Absolutely. Chavez Jr will pay out huge one day… one day…
Evgeny Gradovich – IBF featherweight champion 1-0 in 2014
Gradovich is consistent. There’s not too much flash to him, but what he does he does well. He goes in and tries to make every fight an inside fight. When he’s on the inside, he’s effective and dangerous. There isn’t a featherweight out there that I’d consider a huge favorite over Gradovich. The scary thing about Gradovich is how quickly he’s come on and how much he continues to grow.
Carl Frampton – super bantamweight contender 1(1)-0 in 2014
It’s obvious at this point that Guillermo Rigondeaux is probably unbeatable at 122 pounds, but next in line is Carl Frampton. Frampton’s stock is already high, and it’s okay. Invest now. He’ll be challenging Kiko Martinez for his IBF title and the first time they met Frampton stopped him. Look for Frampton to do the same.
Takashi Miura – WBC super featherweight champion
Miura has yet to fight in 2014, but he’s a name constantly thrown out by super featherweights as a challenger. Let’s be clear about Miura. He’s not beating Mikey Garcia and he’s not beating Takashi Uchiyama either… but everyone else, watch out. Miura is a beast. Nobody, not even Uchiyama, got anything easy against him. Abner Mares’s team were mentioning Miura as a possible opponent, but they probably threw a few of his videos on and changed their minds.
The Top 10 Highest Priced Stocks
These are the stocks that are selling at an all-time high. Either from sensational performances, consistently, or unbelievable signs of promise.
- Miguel Cotto
- Terence Crawford
- Manny Pacquiao
- Roman Gonzalez
- Shawn Porter
- Naoya Inoue
- Sergey Kovalev
- Oscar Valdez
- Floyd Mayweather (some might have sold their stock following the Maidana fight.)
- Vasyl Lomachenko
The Top 10 Most Consistent Stocks
There are obviously the top 10 stocks that have stood the test of time and are consistently yielding good return. These are the guys that will dominate their decision for at least the next year.
- Wladimir Klitschko
- Floyd Mayweather
- Andre Ward
- Guillermo Rigondeaux
- Carl Froch
- Bernard Hopkins
- Mikey Garcia
- Miguel Vazquez
- Gennady Golovkin
- Manny Pacquiao
I could go on and on. There are tons of fighters I’ve left off. Others I may have forgotten about. 2014 is shaping up to be a year full of surprises. We’ve had upsets and we’ve had some real close calls. Who are you buying (or selling) in the 2nd half of 2014?