I've read a lot of review bashing this game for supposedly poor controls. Aside from issues pertaining to the ps3 eye, the game controls aren't difficult. Admittedly, your fighter starts out being pretty wimpy and it'll take some time sparring and hitting the speed bag (where you can earn skill points) before you can upgrade the fighter to match your skills (provided you have any).
That's the only problem with this game... if you are a pathetic weakling who can't throw a clean punch, you lack the basic skillset to play. If this is you and you really want to tough through a steep learning curve, get ready to hurt. Basically, you just need to beat the first opponent once to earn the cash to hit the gym and then you can train and build up your character (periodically fighting the same guy and betting on it to recoup the money used in training). The day after a session, you should be sore (if not, keep training). Remember eat at least 50% more protein than usual (particularly before bed as it's when you do most rebuilding). When your body doesn't really hurt anymore (give it at least 2 days off), have another session.
One last thing... Danny Trejo (star of Machete) plays your trainer, Duke. Trejo was actually a brawler when he was young (served some time, taught fighting to actors, became a character actor), so I hope his endorsement carries weight with you.
Forget the naysayers, load up some brutal beats, and get swinging!