By: Anthony Whitby
As the week closed out the realization that some weeks in boxing can be slower than downtown traffic as other weeks are only comparable to the autobahn. Nonetheless, the sport we love is an ever constant changing landscape of peaks and valleys. Still, it’s always in motion and that’s one reason I love the sport so much… there is no day off. So it’s time to clock in and go to work, let’s go!
What everyone and their mama’s little cousin are talking about is the Alfredo Angulo vs. James Kirkland fight and as well we all should be. My thoughts going into this fight was along the party line lines of Angulo stopping Kirkland in the mid to late rounds. Angulo was going to be too much for Kirkland for an entire fight – his constant pressure would break down a possible shell of his former self in Kirkland.
We all felt the premonitions come to reality the second that Kirkland got his face stumped with an Angulo hard right hand down the pipe in round 1 that caused Kirkland to go down. I felt like this is really happening what most thought to be true was coming to light.
Then something odd happened… “El Perro” must have never watched the first bout between Mike Jones and Jesus Soto-Karass, because not only did Alfredo think he could seal the deal after Kirkland got back up but he decided to try and cash out to early. The bad news for Angulo was that he wasn’t facing Soto- Karass but rather a killer in the ring named James Kirkland. What the “Mandingo Warrior” did wasn’t expected when he bit down and hung on only to reverse the advantage in the same round.
It was over before it ends of the round in many regards as the rest of the fight we saw an Angulo throwing what he could to shun off Kirkland as the Texan would simply plot the course for proper openings. It was a do or die fight for both fighters probably more so for James Kirkland than “El Perro” but by the end Angulo proved he needed to be saved from himself and James Kirkland’s road back to contention status has arrived. Round 1 was probably a strong candidate for round of the year that’s for sure.
This was a fight where the boxing world got it right and Angulo will recover and probably be a smarter fighter for it. He may be reduced to smaller televised bouts from Mexico but he will stand his ground much like he did on Saturday night even when he ran out of ammunition. What James Kirkland did going into an “El Perro’s” Dog Pound and taking the win in crushing fashion was phenomenal and the reason why we watch the sport.
The undercard bout of Peter Quillin vs. Craig McEwan was stopped short in my opinion but felt we would have saw much of the same regardless with Quillin consistently causing fits for the Scottish McEwan. Still, I like my questions to be answered with complete certainty and we didn’t get that in this fight. Craig has been in wars before and shown he deserves the benefit of the doubt. I do believe that Peter Quillin would easily get beat by the top guys I his division. He is a fighter who needs more cowbells if I could borrow the phrase.
Saturday night on SHOWTIME we saw a coming out party for Pier Oliver Cote who brilliantly destroyed Jorge Luis Teron in two rounds when Teron went down the second time and the blood started to spray out of his face I knew I witnessed Cote just gained an audience overnight. I have seen a few of his fights in the past and know he is an up and comer in the Canadian fight scene. It will be interesting to see how his team capitalizes on such a thrilling performance.
The main event kicked off between Lucian Bute vs. Glen Johnson with a ring entrance that was complete opposites of each other. Glen walks in solo, no squad or cronies just him as a man and eventually met with his trainer. Then Lucian Bute gets a drumline performance followed by a U2 track that I never would have thought paired as well as it did but the theatrics were in my view very original and this writer only wishes the American fight game can mimic some of the enthusiasm shown before a big fight as they do in other countries.
I don’t think we saw the normal Glen Johnson we have grown accustomed to – definitely the lack of head movement was prevalent in this fight against Bute. Lucian looked good but enough holes were shown in the early rounds where I believe that Carl Froch and Andre Ward would beat the Romanian in decisive fashion. I do also think that if Lucian Bute really pushed in the championship rounds he could have taken out the old dog out of the fight but respect was paid to Glen and this is a rare instance where I was okay with the idea. Yet if Bute really wanted to put a stamp on the fight getting the gentleman out of the fight or knocking him down would have been the way. Bute has the benefit of waiting for his next opponent to be decided but I am of sure where the road warrior will go from here.
Also notable wins over the weekend: Chris Arreola, Sergio Mora, Allan Green, Ricky Burns, Deontay Wilder, Tomas Rojas, Victor Cayo, and Javier Fortuna (only a matter of time before people pay attention to Fortuna).
As For The Recent News:
The talk of Juan Manuel Marquez taking PED’s is lighting boxing forums left and right and its madness. I could write a whole article on my thoughts but will sum up in subtle words. We need to either start proper testing not mandated testing by fighters who make up their own rules to serve their own purpose but a clean 365 24/7 setup or leave it as it is and stop all speculation without clear evidence is unreasonable . The mass hysteria of shadow sparring partners, A side meth, guys who change their names, guilty based off of their past is all hoopla… or maybe not.
I assume all competitors on the higher level look for all advantages within flexible guidelines as its moot in a way already. The sad thing is the damage is already done because if Marquez does the impossible and actually destroys Pacquiao there will be a large crowd already gathered stating it’s a tainted win.
As for the most recent episode of 24/7 I am digging it. Can’t wait for this Saturday night
As for the undercard, first I will say be sure to purchase the fight early and put your TV on the PPV channel. Normally a small box will be available televising the undercards before the main televised undercard portion begins if that make sense and peep Jose Benavidez Jr. go to work. Worst case there is always a stream on Top Ranks website.
As For The Televised Undercard:
Michael Alvarado vs. Breidis Prescott- I haven’t put much thought in this fight but aside from the main event this may serve as the nights top action fight.
Luis Cruz vs. Juan Carlos Burgos winner- this fight may be more meaningful on paper than anything, but this will gauge if Luis Cruz has got the goods to step up or be side barred.
Tim Bradley vs. Joel Casamayor- Not sure what this fight does but say to the world “Hello everyone my name is Tim Bradley thank you for the invite”.
The Main event- Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez – funny how a 14 months ago how everyone was screaming for this fight instead of a dance with Antonio Margarito (not including the fight with the obvious opponent) but now we get this fight 4 pounds higher than what everyone wants it at and now it’s a slanted mismatch for Manny Pacquiao. Fine, maybe it will be but Marquez is not going to shell up like Clotty or stop fighting like Mosley. Let’s give Marquez some credit here because he will come to fight that’s for sure. Most were entertained by the Cotto fight and even to a lesser degree the Margarito fight. I slated this fight somewhere in between those two fights of Pacquiao’s.
Is it the best PPV fight card of the year no that’s December 3rd and as a matter of fact December 3rd may be the fight day of the year with so many fight slated it could fill an entire month especially any October of recent years.
If a fight can really be put together between Pauli Malignaggi and Marcos Maidana then the phrase “Style makes fights” is the proper verbiage we will here up to the first bell. I like both fighters and am extremely interested it gets made. It may not prove anything for rankings and belts but sometimes all that excess is just that. Let the fighters fight not to prove dominance in a division but simply against each other, and sometimes that’s just enough. This would be one of those times.
Did anyone catch the “Eko unlimited” ads of Miguel Cotto actually smiling for a camera? How weird is that?
Mayweather says he will fight May 5th and the worlds bite on the speculation, I say I have found a way to end world hunger and crickets chirp go figure. Peep this http://5-5-2012.com/
Words have been thrown around that a possible partnership between NBC/Versus networks and Main Events Promotions. Still need to hear more about this but if true, great news for Main Events, great news the east coast and the entire boxing community worldwide even.
Real quick shout out to Boxing writer David P. Greisman who recently asked if any fans had any questions for a certain fighter he was set to be interviewing and actually accepted my questions. Some writers have a certain shield around them to where they wouldn’t be so open to take fans into consideration and I appreciate that, thus the shout out.
Also paying it forward (or back whatever) a well respected boxing writer Saul Jauregui who I consider to be one of the good guys in the writing game decided to venture off and create his own website. Saul has covered the Southern California fight very extensively over the years and works hard and I congratulate him on the website. I wish him nothing but the best with it. Who knows maybe one day if he ever needs a fight recap from Arizona fight game I could contribute?
Someone told me that Ismayl Sillakh could be a mandatory for BHOP I am not sure it would ever happen but talk about a changing of the guard’s scenario?
ESPN’s Doug Loughrey aka match maker for Friday Night Fights will be moving over to ESPN360 division I hope we have a win/win situation of the matching making for FNF remains and yet the ESPN 360 Platform is utilized more for boxing matches that we not have been able to watch without it.
So Andrew Golatta is making a comeback come on really? Seriously? Fine if you must.
R.I.P Joe Frazier – nothing else needs to be said except the boxing community lost a legend.
This week Diego Magdaleno has a fight with Emannuel Lucero (a step backwards in my opinion)
on the same card we get to see Mercito Gesta! (yeah buddy I like the match up)
I will go on record and state I am very please to FINALY see Austin Trout get a televised date (In AMERICA!) against Frank LoPorto on SHOWTIME. I almost feel vested in this fight since I have shared a high praise of Austin Trout for a long time now. I hope he brings his “A” game and gains some fans along the way.
Arizona Boxing Beat: Interview with Jose Benavidez Jr.
I thought it would be fitting to talk to Phoenix’s very own Jose Benavidez Jr. 13(12 KO) – 0 since he is fighting in this upcoming Pacquiao vs. Marquez undercard. Box Rec has recently added Samuel Santana as his opponent. When I talk to Jose over the weekend he didn’t have an opponent slated which is par for the course at this point he knows he has a job to do.
He discussed training with his conditioning coach Cem Eren who he has known since he was 14 and has been training really hard going into this bout. We talked about the pictures that came out of recent workouts and how hard he is pushing it wearing a gas mask which helps with the creation of blood cells and simulates high elevation training. “It helps opens my lungs when you have that gas mask on you can’t breathe and when you take it off everything else is a piece of cake”. He said he has been getting some good sparring in with the likes of Amir Khan who is actually smaller than Benavidez. Even Amir Khan has gone on record praising the work of the young Phoenician.
In his first year of fighting he fought ten times and now in his second year he is already on his fifth fight even stated that he may actually be taking a sixth fight if everything goes right in this week’s bout.
I ask him his take on training at the Wildcard while the media fest is crooning in the back drop for Manny Pacquiao and his training he said “It makes me go even harder, it’s not distracting at all makes me work even harder hopefully one day the lights will be on me if everything goes right”.
I ask Jose his thoughts on this weekend main event “Manny looks like he is even more conditioned and going a lot of rounds in the gym, I don’t see it going past round 5 or 6. You could tell he was excited about being on such a huge event and yet event at a young age it wasn’t his first time at the dance either.
Hopefully we can catch up with the young fighter next week
On the way out of here I asked the question earlier this week and but will ask it again and would appreciate your input (yes you!) If I had to decide between a P”N”B Podcast/Radio show or a P”N”B website which would you recommend I start with? I would kindly appreciate the input but please don’t say both you got to pick one!
You can reach me here https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537481657 or
Also on the corner of “2k words” avenue and “I am done” Street.