Maybe I was too hard on the weekend of boxing. The card in Japan Saturday, which slipped my mind originally, had one quality bout and two quality fighters featured in lesser quality bouts, while on TeleFutura Friday a prospect had a nice showing.
My anticipated weekend highlight, Pacquiao/Margarito 24/7, didn’t do it for me. The series has become hopelessly formulaic. Big overstated philosophical opening — boxers believe in themselves, “none moreso” than Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito (how does HBO know there are “none moreso?”) — check. Staged-looking scene of boxer or trainer being popular — Freddie Roach roaming the mall in Pacquiao gear with a camera then complaining about how hard it is to keep his privacy — check. Scatalogical/bodily function incident to break up the philosophical vibe — Margarito farted, hahahahahaha — check. Cliche-ridden ending — “a different kind of storm” is coming — check. Showtime’s Fight Camp 360 has surpassed it. It’s less predictable, the characters less familiar, and the product at least in the ballpark production-wise. I fully expect Pacquiao/Margarito 24/7 will have its moments, but they were few and far between in the opening epsiode; maybe, if anything, the best scene was the picture of Pacquiao pointing at the picture of himself in Congress, then pointing back at himself.
Still, I attach the video of that above the same as I attach the videos below. As always, videos remain up as long as YouTube allows them.
TOSHIAKI NISHIOKA-RENDALL MUNROE
This was a nice, well-fought scrap. Nishioka and Munroe both elevated themselves, I thought. Nishioka was the better man, but both fought in an aggressive boxing style and Munroe’s showing — especially from the 4th round on — was beyond what many expected for him. Early on, because of the accurate punches Nishioka was landing flush, I couldn’t figure a way Munroe survived to the final bell. But he survived any number of rocky moments. Next for Nishioka, the clear #1 man at junior featherweight (after cuddling that hot wife of his): Why not an all-Japan showdown with Ring’s #2 ranked 122-pounder, Ryol Li Lee?
JORGE LINARES-JESUS CHAVEZ
Linares’ talent really stands out. He pounded run-down lightweight Chavez easily before Chavez retired, claiming a shoulder injury. A note on this: Linares of several young boxers shocked in recent years, but has rebounded at least some, with junior welterweights Amir Khan and Victor Ortiz chief among them. I’ve said it a million times, but if some young talent that’s highly regarded by everyone for showing real ability in dominating opposition that doesn’t usually get dominated — and by “everyone,” I mean everyone, like, 99.9 percent of people — loses once, it’s so, so foolish to assume he NEVER was good and was just a “hype job.” Maybe boxers’ flaws are exposed in those matches — Khan’s and Linares’ chins, Ortiz’ heart, middleweight Daniel Jacobs’ amateurish tendencies — but they wouldn’t have gotten that far if they didn’t have SOMETHING extra inside them. Maybe they overcome their flaws, maybe they don’t. But I never, or at least rarely, bet against them. Jacobs: on deck. Count him out at your own peril.
ROMAN GONZALEZ-FRANCISCO ROJAS
Fighting at junior flyweight, Roman Gonzalez was excellent in quickly dismissing Francisco Rojas in a rematch of a majority decision win for Gonzalez from last year. If he looks like this — and Gonzalez has alternated between looking like this and looking merely adequate — then he can do some damage in the division. One hopes this begins the march toward a bout with division champion Giovanni Segura. I know I just said that about Ulises Solis, but Segura’s the kind of fighter who makes for any number of potentially excellent fights.
MERCITO GESTA-IVAN VALLE
Getsa looked good — sharp on defense, fast, powerful — in blowing out usually sturdy vet Valle. I’d want to see him in against better opposition before I declare him the next big star at lightweight, like some of the hype out there based off this performance, but there’s promise here.