Because a whole bottle of wine and two large glasses of whiskey do not make for ideal writing conditions unless you’re Jack Kerouac, I figured I’d rewatch the big fight from last weekend — Giovanni Segura-Ivan Calderon — with fresh, sober eyes, plus check out Marcos Maidana-DeMarcus Corley and more for some Weekend Afterthoughts.
First, a mild note of self promotion: I’ve taken to being a guest from time to time on SIRIUS 98 where I talk with Corey Erdman — most recently on Friday — so if you’re into the radio thing, watch the Twitter feed at right for notification of when I’ll be appearing and the occasional mp3 of my segment. Erdman’s a good boxing writer and I like him as a radio host, too. (While we’re talking radio: I tend not to consume boxing info that way myself, but I did check out Ring Theory for the first time recently and I enjoyed it. Eric Raskin and William Dettloff play off each other well and the format is interesting.)
- Credit for Segura. I did something in my post-fight blog entry close to something I criticize boxers for doing, and I must take myself to task for it: I said Calderon “gave” the fight away to Segura, then said I wasn’t “trying to diminish Segura’s win.” It’s true: I wasn’t trying to diminish the win. Of course, though, I did. So let me give Segura credit for some stuff. One, even if you accept my premise on Calderon’s poor tactics, Segura still beat a future Hall of Famer and the lineal junior flyweight champion. He did it fair and square. That’s praiseworthy. His approach to doing so — constant, hellacious, unrelenting pressure — was a sight to behold. Segura had to push through exhaustion and frustration to get it done. He also made the fight exciting as much as Calderon did, and in fact has become one of the most exciting fighters in the sport, with three Fight of the Year candidates in three consecutive years. His big punches clearly had an effect on Calderon, so no matter what Calderon did wrong, what Segura did right there ultimately was what closed the show. Also, his Aztec outfit, complete with an advertisement for Winchell’s Donuts, was awesomely tacky and I want one. And, at the end, he was very classy, going over to Calderon at the count of 10 before even celebrating his own win.
- Credit and discredit for Calderon. I thought I was too hard on Calderon for his tactics against Segura, since many people thought Segura forced Calderon to trade by wearing him down more than Calderon opted to do so. But then I saw Calderon explaining after the fight that he deliberately chose to go “toe to toe,” something Doug Fischer also thought he’d seen. Combined with his pre-fight remarks and the fact that Segura wasn’t doing much damage with his shots until late in the 4th round when Calderon stood and traded, I’m feeling justified in my original view. The comparison to Antonio Margarito-Miguel Cotto doesn’t hold that much water because Margarito was landing big shots even with Cotto winning rounds while Segura was not, and Cotto was fighting a style far different from usual; even an old Calderon has shown he can run all night. On the plus side, if Calderon hadn’t fought that way we wouldn’t have the consensus (justifiably) Fight of the Year so far. I’d also questioned whether Calderon quit. Calderon said he took a liver shot, and while I didn’t see a clear hard liver shot on my second viewing or any instant replays, I take Calderon at his word. He’s never appeared to lack for guts. Finally, I’d completely missed Calderon saying he’d been thumbed after the 5th round and wanted to quit. That could be filed under “then he probably actually quit later if he wanted to quit earlier,” but I am opting for “if he didn’t quit then, he wouldn’t quit later either.” [UPDATE: In the comments section, JPPP provides a link to an interview with Calderon that I overlooked, which makes it sound in fact like Calderon did quit. So there’s that.]
- Next for Segura and Calderon. Check out the division’s rankings. There just isn’t a bad match-up in the bunch for Segura, in terms of producing excitement. Then, check out the division just above. There are some good match-ups with folks at flyweight, too. I like Segura-Omar Nino most. If I had my way, Calderon, age 35, would step away for good, but he said he intends to return in 2011. I’m sure he won’t embarrass himself, but he’s just so vulnerable these days, and I doubt I’d pick him to win a rematch with Segura a year from now.
- Marcos Maidana-DeMarcus Corley. It’s fantastic how Chop Chop has become a cult fave. The old man gave hell to a top junior welterweight again, this time Maidana. I scored it a draw, awarding rounds 1, 4 and 8-12 to Corley, with him losing one point due to a 7th round knockdown. The aforementioned Erdman gave it to Corley, but we scored a lot of rounds differently, which is an indicator of a close fight. With the bout in Maidana’s native Argentina, two of the scorecards were a preposterous 117-110 and 116-110 for Maidana. Right now, I can’t find a single person who doesn’t love the quirky, colorful, tough Corley, who wears women’s underwear, a kind of skirt and ornate dragon masks into the ring. He can’t seem to find a way to beat a top fighter, despite a couple outright robberies and some close fights he arguably deserved to win, making him even more sympathetic. Some of Maidana’s woes may have to do with him not being in top shape, if some account I read somewhere but can’t remember where is to be believed. But there were stretches where Corley’s counterpunching made Maidana look bad, and one has to look at this fight and think the slick-boxing Amir Khan’s chances are all the better if he fights Maidana in December. Also, Maidana is vying for the title of dirtiest boxer alive, managing to hit on the break, hit low, hit after the bell and dispatch his speciality rabbit punches throughout the bout. I’m becoming a not-fan.
- Odds and ends. Good for lightweight Hank Lundy for taking a potentially tough fight on short notice and beating Omri Lowther on Lowther’s home soil in Canada, even if the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights main event wasn’t particularly enthralling. Some have noted that Lundy was fighting rather quickly after a knockout loss; I’m not sure of the time frame of any resulting suspension, but if there was a suspension (and there probably should have been) in the United States I’m not crazy about that part of Lundy-Lowther… I was all right with junior lightweight Ronny Rios’ knockout win on Fight Night Club in a step up fight against Leivi Brea. I’m not sure why but the guy doesn’t move me. Maybe he’ll grow on me as he grows as a fighter… Col. Bob Sheridan is a living legend amongst boxing broadcasters, but I’d appreciate it if he stopped coaching boxers in the middle of fights by yelling instructions to them, even to the point that last weekend he stepped away from the mic to shout directions to a fighter… Whatever I left out, here’s the rest.