Thoughts from the Weekend

Nothing too major took place within the world of fistic prizefighting but below are a few thoughts on the ESPN/Telefutura televised cards.  ESPN Friday Night Fights: Quite possibly one of FNF better broadcasts.  Not only did the showcase two rising stars in the super middleweight division but I must say that I was thoroughly impresses with Allan Green’s in-studio appearance.  Green’s take on the different types of power punchers was spot on having had my cranium jarred a time of two I can relate.  Just an all out impressive performance that gave host Brian Kenny just reason to be giddy following the dreadfulness of Sultan Ibragimov’s performance last week.  Edison Miranda KO 3 David Banks In my opinion Miranda has just not seemed like the “Pantera” of old.  His “balls out” aggressiveness seems absent following his KO loss to Kelly Pavlik and in his last two fights Miranda has appeared to be a bit apprehensive and lethargic.  Maybe he is employing a more cautious game-plan to his fights or perhaps the loss to Pavlik did more harm then we think.  Time will tell as the jury is still out on this one. As for the fight with Banks, a fringe contender/journeyman, the season three participant of the Contender looked to be progressing nicely under the tutelage of Buddy McGirt.  Banks looked good for the first couple of minutes until Miranda closed the show with as good as right hand as you will ever see (check out Tim’s post to see the KO in full).  A showdown with Pascal is likely and while I initially favored the Haitian/Canadian my tune has changed seeing the difficulty he had in disposing of Omar Pittman on the night’s undercard. Jean Pascal UD 10 Omar Pittman It is never a good thing when the crowd starts to chant out the sacrificial lamb’s name during the course of the fight.  On paper it seemed that Pittman would be the perfect stuntman to showcase Pascal’s immense talents but this being boxing, what should happen and what does happen are not always the same. Pittman showed some real heart in standing up to Pascal’s lightning fast hands and unorthodox movements even hurting the flashy boxer with a hook from nowhere.  For all of his tools and athleticism Pascal, to me, seems like the poor man’s Roy Jones.  Against a upper echelon fighter all of that leaping hooks and low guard is going to get Pascal starched.  Hell, Pittman started to time Pascal’s lunges, often catching him with some solid rights in the later rounds after Pittman had been beaten, battered, and bruised.  This does not bod well for Pascal’s future especially since it seems that Miranda is next. By the way, I LOVED the animosity Pascal and Miranda displayed post fight.  Unlike the vast majority of today’s “grudge matches” this one seems to have some real anger behind it. Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo: Sergio Mora TKO 6 Ruben Ruvalcaba My how the mighty have fallen.  Mora, who won the first Contender season, seemed to be a fighter on the rise.  He had personality, a willingness to fight, to go along with an introspective demeanor that could have meant big things in the way of marketing.  In fact it did pay off as he was given a shot at the middleweight title against Jermain Taylor that he inexplicitly refused on the grounds that the fight would take place in Memphis.  I can understand his trepidation but come on, it was the offer of a lifetime as well as a nice payday to boot.  So what does Mora do instead?  Nada.  His scheduled fight with Kassim Ouma (ugh) on last year’s ill fated Marquez-Juarez PPV fell through when the whole promotion did.  Let’s just say there is a reason why no network picked that dud up.  Mora would close out ’07 with a draw against unheralded Elvin Ayala that many considered a gift to the “Latin Snake”. All this brings us to Mora’s appearance on Solo Boxeo Friday night against Ruvalcaba, who perhaps is best known in Tijuana for his taco shop rather than his boxing acumen.  If you missed the fight, well you really didn’t miss anything.  Mora seemed lethargic and disinterested.  Ruvalcaba tried but his skill sets are too limited to be effective against the very mobile Mora.  However Mora did manage to hurt Ruvalcaba in the 5th with his leaping left hooks.  Ruvalcaba was again hurt in the sixth and while leaning against the ropes took a shot that snapped his head back prompting referee Ray Corona to stop the bout.  I understand Corona’s decision to stop the fight after seeing Ruvalcaba’s head snap back but I don’t think the fighter was that hurt.  Many may cry that the stoppage was premature, and it was to an extent, but the fact remains that the referee was simply looking out for the fighter’s safety.  Not sure where Mora goes from here.  Perhaps he can land a shot with Pavlik after the Taylor fight or maybe he lands a fight with other contender John Duddy in NY.  Just not sure what options he has available. Vicente Escobedo UD 10 Pascali Adorno You can see the effects that trainer Nacho Bernstein is having on the young Escobedo.  His style is crisper, his movement is better, and he throw straight combinations that capitalize on his impressive wingspan.  Still I have to rate his performance a solid C+ against Adorno who while tough, is not in the same league as Escobedo. Escobedo was in complete control of the fight but should have let his hands go more and really worked to get his man take Adorno out.  Aside from some straight lefts, Adorno really did little else except taunt the Woodlands, CA native in an attempt to take Escobedo out of his game.  Still the fact remains that Adorno ate so many right hands I mistook him for a Pez dispenser the eay his head kept snapping back.  It was a good victory for Escobedo but he could have done more to impress, that is all I am saying. Danny Garcia KO 2 Marlo Cortez I know that Garcia has had only three professional fights but it is clear as to why Golden Boy Promotions is so high on the young Philly prospect.  He has sound technical skills and a drive to finish off his opponents when he has them hurt.  It’s what you like to see in a blue chip prospect.  Against Cortez, your typical cannon fodder, Garcia did a good job of cutting off the ring as Cortez wanted no part of the hungry young lion after tasting some hard hooks.  In the second round Garcia landed a sweeping left hook that left Cortez horizontal and out.  Impressive yes, but only time will tell if Garcia can become the elite pro that his handlers believe.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.