What with the business going on I mentioned here and all the distraction of the latest Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao debacle, last weekend didn’t get the attention it deserved in this space. For instance: How good does bantamweight Fernando Montiel look in the clip above? Rafael Concepcion has lost a few fights, sure, but he gave Jorge Arce and Nonito Donaire as much as they cared to handle, and Montiel pancaked the man (which was gratifying, given Concepcion’s knack for foul play). Please, evil boxing gods, don’t get in the way of Montiel-Nonito Donaire with your accursed magic!
But hey, that was last weekend. It’s freaking Thursday already. We must think of this week’s schedule, too, light though it may be. So herein, we’ll combine The Week’s Boxing Schedule with Weekend Afterthoughts.
I was somewhat surprised by the view some had that Timothy Bradley-Luis Carlos Abregu was a close welterweight fight on the scorecards, particularly some media at ringside. At most, if I was being generous, I thought Abregu could have won three rounds. But in retrospect, I probably didn’t give Abregu enough credit for the way he fought and what it did to Bradley. I still don’t think he won more than three rounds, but in my initial write-up I didn’t give him his due. Bradley looked sloppy like he did in part because Abregu was tall and moderately evasive, by his usual standard. And his effort was nothing if not game. He also obviously fought with a good deal of heart, to rebound from being shook many times. If Bradley was a big puncher at 140, let alone 147, heart may not have figured it, but it did. As for Bradley, Amir Khan was calling him out on Twitter, but I’d bet you a million dollars they don’t fight next — in the current system, Khan gets to say whatever he wants about wanting to fight everyone under the sun, then his promoter Golden Boy keeps him away from most of them. Based on Bradley’s struggles with a taller opponent, I’m not sure I’d pick him to beat Khan, but there are easier ways for GBP to make money off Khan right now, unfortunately.
I also think I might have underestimated the quality of the Alfredo Angulo win. Joachim Alcine was ranked #8 at junior middle by Ring magazine, and the way Angulo blew him out was impressive. His team is showing confidence in him by even talking about a Sergio Martinez fight, who sounds like a style nightmare for Angulo given his trouble with slick boxers, but it may not happen because Martinez promoter Lou DiBella wants it at 155 (presumably to defend Martinez’ middleweight belt) and Angulo promoter Gary Shaw said it won’t go over 154 because he thinks catchweights are terrible. And in that fashion, a fight might not happen over one pound. Accursed magic of the evil boxing gods, you strike again!
After finally catching up with Fernando Guerrero-Ishe Smith, I thought Guerrero deserved the win. I had the middleweight prospect-turning-contender Guerrero winning seven rounds out of the 10, with Smith losing a point for low blows in the 6th and effectively regaining the point in the 8th with a knockdown. It was a good, competitive fight with tons of body punching, but I couldn’t score many of the early rounds for Smith because most of the blows he was landing weren’t legal. Smith behaved like a petulant brat with referee Randy Phillips — who reffed every fight on the card, which is a bit much; not that reffing a few fights in a row is that bad, but a whole card? — when Phillips warned him for low blows that were extremely, obviously low, then yelled at Phillips multiple times because he thought Phillips hadn’t scored a knockdown when in fact he had. Smith can fight, but let’s face it: He’s in a lot of close ones because he’s good enough to be, but he loses a lot of close ones because he usually gets outworked. Smith may have punched harder than Guerrero in spots, but not enough, because Guerrero was far more sustained in his attack. I don’t worry about the knockdown much because Guerrero was more off balance than he was badly hurt, but in comparing how amateur rival Daniel Jacobs did against Smith, Jacobs came out way ahead. Guerrero is getting a “never in a bad fight” rep, despite/because of not having the whole defensive package, though, and he was faster than I thought he was.
Now, that Shawn Porter-Ray Robinson junior middleweight fight, that one I had pretty close — even in rounds, with Porter getting an extra point’s edge for knocking down Robinson in the 6th. In the rounds Porter won, he was ferocious in his body attack. In the rounds Robinson won, he was sharp with his counters, jabs and uppercuts. The judges had Porter winning by as much as 99-89, wacky-style. I like Porter, don’t get me wrong, but we’ve received a couple indicators lately that he might not be the blue chip prospect he projected as. On the other hand, he might just be experiencing some growing pains as he steps up in competition for the first time. As for Robinson, he’s a tough nut, and if he could not slap so widely with his punches like he does sometimes, I bet his power would develop a touch more. Both the Porter-Robinson and Guerrero-Smith fights were nice, solid fights, well-matched and well-fought despite my nitpicking.
What the hell is up with welterweight Matthew Hatton winning and winning and winning? I didn’t catch his welterweight decision over Yuriy Nuzhnenko, but does anyone remember the days when you felt sorry for Hatton having that last name? Now, Matthew has put together a career that stands on its own merits, separate from brother Ricky.
Also, all accounts are that bantamweight A.J. Banal was in a heck of a scrap with Big Yoo, but I haven’t been able to find it on YouTube. Anyone see it?
Then there was this pretty good knockout by Denis Lebedev in a cruiserweight title eliminator against Alexander Alekseev.
The Week’s Boxing Schedule
In chronological order, more or less.
Hey, look, Fight Night Club tonight is producing a fight that kinda maybe could qualify for a ShoBox slot! On Fox Sports Net and RingTV.com, featherweight prospect Gary Russell, Jr. is stepping up big to take on Mauricio Pastrana, who’s fought everyone from Rafael Marquez to Antonio Escalante, even beating Escalante. Sure, Pastrana has lost seven of his last eight, but there’s nobody on Russell’s resume even close to Pastrana.
Then, on TeleFutura Friday, on the Solo Boxeo program, Golden Boy is mustering another above-par card by putting middleweight prospect Craig McEwan in what is arguably his toughest bout, against Danny Perez (arguable because Darnell Boone might have been a tougher opponent in McEwan’s career).
Light heavyweight Beibut Shumenov, a robbery beneficiary in his last fight against Gabriel Campillo, headlines on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights. His opponent, Viacheslav Uzelkov, is undefeated and once knocked out Campillo, so this is a legit fight. And it could be a very good one. Also, one of my favorite prospects, junior featherweight Rico Ramos, is in action.
Also Friday, there’s a Telemundo card and Oleydong Sithsamerchai defends his strawweight belt.
On Saturday, it might be worth dropping by Wbcboxing.tv to see if it’s airing featherweight Jhonny Gonzalez’ fight against Aristides Perez, not because Perez is a worthy opponent — he’s been knocked out by Humberto Soto, and, in his last fight, Eduardo Escobedo –but because Gonzalez fights are usually good watchin’.
D.C. lightweight Ty Barnett has hit some big bumps in his tenure as a prospect, including a close decision over Johnnie Edwards three fights ago and a 1st round knockout loss to unproven Juan Santiago two fights ago. But he’ll headline a free webcast card on GoFightLive, fighting Tyrese Hendrix, who produced a 1st round double knockdown with Hank Lundy on ESPN2 in his last fight, a decision loss.
Off the teevee, junior flyweight contender Johnreil Casimero takes on Ramon Garcia in what was supposed to be a stay-busy fight of sorts before taking on division champion Ivan Calderon, but Calderon is looking to fight Giovanni Segura instead. And junior middleweight contender Deandre Latimore takes on journeyman Willie Lee.
Sunday, the Kameda brothers take stay-busy fights.