It’s exactly what it sounds like.
- Bernard Hopkins got his revenge on Roy Jones Saturday in a rematch of their 1993 fight, but I haven’t seen anybody who thought the 45-year-old victor looked so hot. It was a clear and wide unanimous decision decision, but the consensus is that B-Hop struggled more than he should have with the virtually shot 40-year-old Jones. Both men went to the hospital after. I didn’t waste my $60, so I can’t really say how either man looked, but it sounds like I made the right decision. I don’t think it’s a good sign for Hopkins that the CEO of Golden Boy, Richard Schaefer, said he’d rather that Hopkins retire than pursue a fight with heavyweight David Haye. Based on the match-up and what Haye did Saturday, I’d have picked Haye to win that fight running away even before Hopkins-Jones II. The 7,000 people in attendance sounds not-bad, but some of those were giveaways; on the other hand, I know from visitor statistics that a lot of people were searching for information about the fight on Saturday, so we’ll see how it does on pay-per-view, although I suspect that was probably more about curiosity than genuine interest.
- Haye was the total package against John Ruiz, demonstrating serious heavyweight power and smart boxing to score four knockdowns and stop Ruiz in nine rounds. I watched the first eight, but had to leave before the finish, when Ruiz’ corner threw in the towel. This has to do away with some of the doubts left by Haye’s unimpressive showing against Nicolay Valuev. Ruiz had been stopped just once in a career where he fought Evander Holyfield, Ruslan Chagaev, Valuev and Jones — David Tua was the only one of them to knock Ruiz out. Haye already was and remains the most compelling match-up for a Klitschko brother, and fights like this make it more believable that he’d be competitive, even if it still seems like a long shot. Alas, Valuev has a rematch clause and Haye-Valuev II may be next instead.
- On ShoBox Friday, junior middleweight Erislandy Lara easily outpointed Danny Perez. I think Showtime’s announcing team was a bit hard on Lara for not getting the stoppage, saying he could’ve and if he had’ve, he’d’ve boosted his chances of being a star. But Lara doesn’t have crazy power, and Perez had been in with bigger punchers than Lara and didn’t get KO’d. Lara gave me enough action to go along with excellent boxing (Perez only touched Lara to the body every now and then) for me to want to see him again, and after some shaky moments against Grady Brewer, I think this performance shows he’s ready to step up again if he wants to do so. In the supporting bout, featherweight Carlos Velasquez wowed me with a savage body attack followed by a 4th round counter right to KO late replacement Ira Terry.
- Welterweight Delvin Rodriguez was too long and too busy for upward-moving junior welterweight Mike Arnaoutis as Rodriguez won a wide unanimous decision on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights. What does this do for either man’s standing? Arnaoutis can write the loss off to size, but he didn’t do anything to suggest he was going to be able to, as Teddy Atlas put it, get over the bump against A- fighters. Rodriguez can get back into the picture at the fringe of welterweight top-10 contention, but that’s about his limit. On the undercard, junior middleweight prospect Joe Greene won a closer-than-expected decision over a late replacement; another junior middleweight prospect, Demetrius Andrade, also won; and junior featherweight Yan Barthelemy revived his career a bit with a knockout win over prospect Roberto Benitez due to a cut.
- On Fox Sports Net’s Top Rank Live Saturday, two prospects named Mike picked up impressive knockout victories against tough opponents. Featherweight Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia stopped hard-nosed Tomas Villa. Junior welterweight Mike Alvarado, in his first fight since leaving jail, stopped Lenin Arroyo for the first time in Arroyo’s career. It took both Mikes a mere two rounds to do their jobs. Both these guys are for real, I now believe, although I might still have questions about how high they can go. And they’re both fan-friendly punchers with some boxing ability.
- In another two-round demolition number, David Lemieux knocked out Walid Smichet Saturday. Lemieux is no longer a prospect — the question is whether he’ll make himself a factor at middleweight or at super middleweight, where Lemieux fought Saturday night for the second time.
- On the Hopkins-Jones II undercard, junior lightweight Jason Litzau upset Rocky Juarez in a seven-round technical decision when Litzau’s eye was too swollen to continue. For the uneven Litzau, it’s new life for his career — but for the talented but frustrating Juarez, it’s his worst loss. Also on the card, middleweight Sergio Mora got back in the win column with a rare knockout win, while light heavyweight Ismayl Sillakh got a — what else? — 2nd round knockout win over sturdy journeyman Daniel Judah, who’d only been knocked out once previously. Sillakh doing a number like that on Judah shows that he’s more than hype.