I know I said in the headline I wasn’t going to talk about Joseph Agbeko-Yonnhy Perez — I’m going to give the bantamweight bout its own preview later this week — but that picture needed to run immediately. The contrast between the smiling mugs of Agbeko and Perez, and the eye-bulging look on the face of that generic but well-dressed undead fella, it’s quite a joy.
And besides, there’s not much going on in the boxing schedule this week other than Agbeko-Perez Saturday, and it fills lots of space. Here’s what’s on tap, elsewise:
“Muhammad And Larry,” ESPN, Tuesday. This documentary about the sickening Muhammad Ali-Larry Holmes fight, by the director of “Gimme Shelter,” is getting uncommon praise. Bernard Fernandez is a grizzled boxing scribe not prone to gushing, and he’s calling this documentary the second-best boxing documentary of all time, just behind (of course) “When We Were Kings.” I’m looking forward to it in the sense that a work of art that gets praise like that, it must be pretty good. But the whole Ali-Holmes thing just mortifies me; it’s so ugly that Ali was still fighting, and that he got beaten up so terribly. I’ll be watching, though, and posting my thoughts afterward.
Agbeko-Perez undercard, Las Vegas, Saturday, Showtime and [UPDATED] pay-per-view. The highlight here is the Showtime televised undercard fight, a lightweight bout between Antonio DeMarco and Jose Alfaro. The winner becomes the interim WBC titleholder, to fight Edwin Valero at some future point or to just take the belt flat-out if Valero is unable to fulfill his responsibilities what with him having legal, physical and other problems. DeMarco-Alfaro has the look of a fight that won’t go the distance — Alfaro has 20 knockouts in 23 wins, and DeMarco has knocked out his last two opponents despite them being the two best opponents of his career. Alfaro also has two knockout losses on his resume, though, including one that led to him dropping his WBA belt. DeMarco’s a really fun prospect, but he’s shown difficulty in his last two fights mixing intelligence boxing and brawling, often doing one for most of the fight before just dropping it and doing the other. The other noteworthy undercard fight is Ray Austin-DaVarryl Williamson, a WBC heavyweight “special elimination bout,” whatever that means. Neither of these guys deserve to be fighting for any belts anytime soon. [UPDATED: On DonKingTV.com for $5.99, as of a Tuesday news release, you can catch Austin-Williamson, as well as some Don King prospects like welterweight Joe De La Rosa, who'd been the subject of a promotional dispute between King and Duva Boxing; junior middleweight Nelson Linares; lightweight Angelo Santana; and heavyweight Bermane Stiverne.]
Hector Camacho, Jr. – Yory Boy Campas, Texas, Friday, pay-per-view. It’s not anywhere near the scale of Ali-Holmes, but this is that same old boxing story of the old fighter who shouldn’t be boxing anymore and the younger fighter cashing in against him. I can’t fathom who would pay .01 cents for this. I’m not kidding. I am about as big a boxing fan as you’ll find, but I wouldn’t watch this for free. Campas keeps passing his physicals, which makes me reluctant to say he shouldn’t be allowed to fight anymore, but he definitely ought to retire. Just to give you a sense of it, Campas’ last fight was against Hector Camacho SENIOR, and Campas only mustered a draw against a 47-year-old man. Camacho Junior ain’t a contender and simply won’t become one, and he claims nobody who’s actually live, like, say, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. will fight him — And why would they? What the hell does he bring to the table, exactly? — so he’s fighting Campas and might fight a shot and soon-to-be-unretired Fernando Vargas next. Camacho-Campas will be at junior middleweight, and Camacho-Vargas would be at light heavyweight because Vargas is so fat. Yes, it’s a sordid sport sometimes, friends. (Note which state is hosting this: Texas, you have a filthy boxing jurisdiction — maybe this will be the fight where somebody dies because of your complete lack of morals. Gooooo Texas! You’re only slightly less disgusting than Thailand’s shameless boxing wasteland!)
And those are the highlights, basically. Middleweight Jose Luis Zertuche, who had been and probably is still not allowed to fight in the U.S. for medical reasons, is fighting in Mexico. It’s quite a week for this kind of distasteful stuff, apparently.