By: Anthony Whitby
This week there was simply too much fight game to cover. Yes folks, boxing is dead but the following networks or shows decided to show bouts: Fight Night Club, Friday Night Fights, Solo Boxeo, Box Azteca, Fox Sports, Telemundo, Epix and of course HBO all in a 72 hour period. It was a puzzle deciding what to record and what to watch live. I wish boxing was this dead every weekend!
This isn’t your Grand Pappy’s P”N”B; better get a five hour energy drink because this is an all nighter version. Friends bring your Sponge Bob PJ’s and cozy sleeping bag. No shenanigans this week, let’s just get to it! We do not have time for lollygaggers let alone shim shamer’s (I am not sure what a “shim shamer” is but hey, it sounded good).
Let’s take it from the top and discuss Devon Alexander vs. Lucas Matthysse: Solid ten-round fight and was very impressed with Devon Alexander in the early rounds. He definitely looks to have gained some muscle mass according to my body mass index calculator.
Here is the difference; Lucas Matthysse was focused on staying in Devon’s face and once the uppercuts and piercing body shots started to land they began mentally and physically breaking down Alexander. Credit Devon for taking this fight and willing to stick it out to the end, however, the P”N”B scorecard had it 96-95 for the Argentinean banger. Look, the writing was on the wall on this fight. Either the opponent was going to crush the hometown favorite or the scoring of one Judge that being Denny Nelson was going to bail out Devon Alexander much like he did in the Andriy Kotelnik fight, “you member!”.
I am not going to get all angry and rant on about the death of boxing. It was a close fight. Lucas Matthysse will move on win a couple of Telefutura cards. Maybe even on a Golden Boy PPV showcase and he still has a chance to break through the division.
Can we agree for now when a foreign fighter loses a split decision in their opponent’s backyard? We call it an *asterisk fight thus equaling a win. We all saw it the fight Saturday night and also Saturday afternoon with the Sturm vs. Macklin fight.
Can Devon Alexander beat Timothy Bradley, Amir Khan, let alone even Lucas Mattysse or Audriy Kotelnik? I in the boat of people that say no yet I still think a fight between Zab Judah and Devon Alexander would be extremely fun to watch.
Tavoris Cloud vs. Yusaf Mack lasted much longer than I thought. It would appeared as if Yusaf looked like he came to fight unfortunately for him so did Tavoris Cloud. With a monster left hook Tavoris Cloud took all the fun out of Yusaf Mack’s night. The final body punch was a great example of a “nail in the coffin” punch that gave assurance that Mack wasn’t going to survive the round.
I think we can all agree Cloud is a beast in the ring. Can he beat Bernard Hopkins? A lot new school boxing heads believe so. Cloud needs to fight four times a year. That is what this Dr. prescribes to cure a bad case of “kingfighter’itis”.
You will be more entertained reading this sentence than watching the Bermane Stiverne fight against Ray Austin… ‘nuff said.
Real quick… for some zany reason my DVR failed to pick up this week’s Friday Nights Fights so I have homework to do. To be fair however, when I went to record the ESPN Deportes version, freaking soccer was on it! My DVR was laughing at me! Soccer, (pfft) what a loser sport! Nobody in the world cares about it! MMA is way better than Soccer! Soccer is dead. Soccer fans are so upset with the sport they are converting to become Lacrosse fans! This is sarcasm my friends. Soccer fans; don’t get all crazy please. One of my favorite movies is a great soccer flick? Kicking and Screaming… anyone?
What a fight Felix Sturm vs. Mathew Macklin was! Whoever thought that Macklin was going to bring that type of game to the table? Wow! In any other country in the world he would have won that fight. I hope a rematch is possible. Shout out to EPIX for picking it up as well! We love to laugh that they pick up these Euro fights but let’s be honest if we saw more fights like that we would watch them so credit them for giving us the outlet. Praise Felix Sturm for knowing he lost and he should have ripped up the judges’ cards and raised Mathew Macklins hand up.
If I could do an old school Batman TV narrative it would say: “Is this the unraveling of Felix Sturm? Can the UK fighter repeat the performance? Seriously though Sturm isn’t getting younger somebody is bound to get to him.
Yeah, so I do not know how many people got to watch the return of Fernando Montiel but I did at about 2:24am Saturday night (not Sunday morning, huge difference). Regardless, what an odd scene when he is against the ropes and exchanges some great body shots but his arms get caught in the ropes while his opponent falls to the floor.
Now, it’s possible the body-shots which take time to register did the KO damage however I do not get when the referee is counting the knockdown against Nehomar Cermeno, Nehomar is standing up not paying attention rather talking to his corner (in my head he was asking about where the after party was) and then the referee counted him out. It was very odd. If something could be funny and appalling at the same time I think I witnessed but then again super duper late Saturday night.
We are still not done recapping the fights, if your eyes are tired you have permission look at the random people you call co-workers and question their existence for a second.
I won’t say this often so pay attention but the Fight Night Club series from last Thursday was solid. The Jamie Kavanagh fight was fun and he is progressing well with Freddie Roach in his corner. Evidently according to the P”N”B Stat tracker the Irishman Kavanagh threw 600 punches in a round and a half.
The K.O. of the week would have been Ramon Valdez knocking out Rafael Lora but couldn’t find good footage so here is an oldie but goodie compilation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUlqjwcAoW4&playnext=1&list=PLCBA148E40B61519B
The Friday Night Telefutura cards had the reunion with James Kirkland and trainer Ann Wolfe. James Kirkland’s opponent was Dennis “I haven’t won a bout since May of 2004” Sharpe. To put it into perspective, the last time he won a bout I believe Shrek 2 was blowing up the box office.
Anyone seen the Kirkland footage of Kirkland sparring Heavyweights? Glad to see he’s back home. (Seriously no pun intended this is how his world has always been and glad he gets back to what he knows, it will serve him well) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqfOlItw0_4
Why did Brian Vera take eight rounds to beat Eloy Suarez? I am not sure but great for him I guess?
Mike Jones went off and got a nice KO victory over the weekend and I know Bob Arum has said he wants to get Mike Jones on the “Manny Pacquiao list of possible opponents”.
Here’s a “to do” list for Mike Jones:
- Fight often
- Fight highly touted fighters
- Win in an aggressive fan friendly fashion
- Do not spend all your quarters on one video game (My Teddy atlas verbiage of not tiring out in the second round of a fight)
- Repeat the listed bullet points for at least 12 months
While promoting for this weekend’s Don King’s fight card, photos came out of the legendary promoter crashing a St. Louis wedding. That ladies and gentlemen is an old school promotional tactic only Don King could pull off. TV package handlers take notes.
I was going to write about how great the undercard of the Amir Khan vs. Zab Judah fight was going to be and HBO would be foolish not to televise it. However since the card has had some trouble getting off the ground I won’t.
If the rumors are true that Chris Arreola and Tony Thompson both turned down a fight with Seth Mitchell, I am interested to know why. The logical answers would be one Seth Mitchell and Chris Arreola have the same manger therefore are less likely to fight each other and Tony Thompson is hoping to fit in with Eddie Chambers for an elimination bout I believe.
With all that logic, there is another side of logic that both Chris and Tony need as much shine and fanfare around them as possible [I am sorry, beating Fast Eddie and 7 club fighters in 21 days won’t do that for you]. What will work is picking off a young lion that looks glossy on paper and with much hype built around him. Seth Mitchell still has that rawness that makes him not only exciting but also very vulnerable for a wiser veteran in the ring. I am interested now in seeing who Seth Mitchell is gunning for and if they will be of the same caliber as the above mentioned. My Magic 8 Ball says “doubtful”.
Earlier Jack Loew stated while on a radio show that Mikkel Kessler declined to fight Kelly Pavlik for $3 million dollars! I am no finance major but that price tag sounds off on that match-up. I can’t wait for the day someone offers me $3 million dollars for three months of work.
To follow suit with last week’s P”N”B’s constant praise of fighters that are taking fights to stay active and still setting up for a larger paydays in the future. Kelly Pavlik has joined the list with taking a money fight in his home-town and then will prepare for Lucian Bute slated for the fall.
Maybe we can get the Bute vs. Pavlik fight part of the undercard of the Frochb vs. Ward fight? There are too many reasons why that won’t happen, but hey, let a man keep hoping.
Let me get further detailed on the great in-house fight of Robert Guerrero vs. Marcos Maidana: This fight should be title “Brains vs. Brawns” or maybe “Muscle vs. The Mind”. Don’t like those? Then maybe we go with the classic “El Chino vs. The Ghost” – sounds like a title for an unreleased Jim Morrison poem. We still have a lot of time to yap about this fight so we will leave it marinating.
The Tim Bradley “Decision” is coming. ESPN has decided to send a TV crew to the desert and cover what promotional outfit the free agent will be signing. Oh wait, no they’re not. I have been mistaken; ESPN has decided Log Jamming and duck throwing are more entertaining. (Duck throwing should be a sport if it isn’t already).
Golden boy is trying to serve a bout between Erik Morales and Michael Katsidis. While I am okay with the fight, everyone will clamor on “how fun it will be” and all. Has Michael Katsidis reached that realm where we he gets a pass much like Glen Johnson that we don’t care about his record and his fighting heart makes us fall in love with watching him fight? Survey says… Yes, this is correct!
Why would Ricardo Mayorga want to gun for Julio Chavez Jr. as oppose to Saul Alvarez? Is this a bargaining tactic or the genuine truth?
Anyone here also skeptical of the reports that 36 million people in a country of 112 million people sat down and watched the Canelo fight? I know Mexicano’s love Canelo but 1/3 of a country tuning in just doesn’t seem possible. Regardless, even if the numbers are fudged and only half did that’s still a killer number. (Half would be 18 million before you run to your savvy calculator watch)
Oh yeah no mention of Wladimir Klitschko vs David Haye. Come fight time this fight has been talked about for 200 years what else really needs to be said but “Box”.
ARIZONA BOXING BEAT
Shout out to Fanbase promotions for doing something I haven’t seen in a Phoenix boxing promotion for the most part. For starters, billboards, radio commercials and even TV commercials for the upcoming bout fight card July 8th with Jesus Ernie Gonzales vs. Henry Buchanan. The more the consumers see and hear about boxing the more it will matter. On top of that I here tickets prices are very well priced. Smart Move by pushing the fight back until the same weekend the Baseball All Star game is in town when tourist will be flocking downtown all weekend.
I also got to spend a little time on a phone interview with local Light heavyweight fighter Billy “The Kid Schmidt (1-0-2). He will also be on the July 8th fight card in a rematch from his March 18th bout against Carlos Reyes. For what it’s worth, I was at that fight and it was a 4 round all out war. “I have been training with a Champion Ernie Gonzales and I am preparing to make it a fight. I know I will be ready because of the preparation I have put into this rematch”, Billy said when discussing his second attempt to dance with Carlos Reyes. He said he wants to fight as much as possible. You can tell when talking to him he is a guy that loves to bang and please the crowd and throw a ton of punches. The rematch is a 6 round fight that is at a lower weight than the last contracted weight. I get the sense Billy is going to want to end this fight as quickly as possible and please the crowd. This fight in my views is round five, a continuation from last spring’s fight and should be fun for the fans who make it out.
Props to all the amateur fighters from Arizona winning fights at nationals: Abel Ramos, Robert Lopez, Antonio Nieves, Luis Olivares, Alyssa Defazio… sorry if I left anyone out.
I leave you this week with this: Last April I got the pleasure to cover an Arizona fighter I write about very often Alexis “Beaver” Santiago. I wrote an article covering his fight with Walter Santibanes: http://boxingiq.com/punches-n-bunches-exclusive-alexis-%E2%80%9Cbeaver%E2%80%9D-santiago-by-anthony-whitby
After speaking with Alexis during the interview, you could hear his conviction that he wanted his next upcoming bout this weekend on Telefutura against the Coachella Valley fighter Randy Caballero. The fight is for a WBC youth title and chance for both men to face their first real challenge in this writers view. Randy steps up and is going up against a live defensive fighter in Alexis and Beaver is going up against easily his toughest opponent who is a blue chip Golden Boy prospect. What was the biggest question I asked Beaver in a quick interview we did last Friday?
AW: “With you only having two knock-outs on your record, how do you plan on beating the home-town favorite in Randy Cabellero?”
Beaver: “I have to take it to him. I know he expects me to run but I am going to have to bring it and I am ready. We are going to go hard the whole fight”.
Hands down I am pumped for this fight, battle of the desert prospects. I have talked to several boxing heads from Indio and I know they are excited as well. I wish both men all the luck and I encourage everyone to watch Solo Boxeo on Friday.
Alright if you made it this far than give yourself a hand and leave a comment below BoxingIQ and P”N”B want to hear what’s on your mind!