Weekend Afterthoughts On Delvin Rodriguez Vs. Pawel Wolak II, More Bad Scorecards, Two Alleged Dives And More

Pawel Wolak’s face was the symbol of the weekend for boxing: ugly as sin, but with elements of what makes boxing great. That face helped the sport get a little attention from one of the biggest sports blogs out there, The Big Lead (quoting moi, blush blush). But however much Wolak’s swollen vagina of a visage helped contribute to making Wolak-Delvin Rodriguez sensational enough for them to post about, the boys at The Big Lead also did the general sports fan a favor by posting video of the fight, which was a big-time Fight of the Year candidate and the kind of thing that would make most anyone realize how special boxing can be.

And so it would go all weekend. There were excellent fights all over the place, but then they’d be punctuated by some ugly business like allegations of boxers taking dives or bad scorecards that somehow put the disreputable Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara scorecards a couple weeks back to shame. “Eventful” is the word for it.

Let us revisit the weekend that was, with a heavy dose of video for those who missed out on some of the funny business and mind-blowing action.

  • Rodriguez-Wolak sequel. This is the fight everyone wants to see on Dec. 3 as a de facto pay-per-view junior middleweight doubleheader paired with Antonio Margarito-Miguel Cotto II. And Top Rank’s Todd DuBoef hinted that it could be what we get. One potential concern was whether Wolak would be up for it. Quoting Rodriguez’ cut man, Thomas Hauser raised doubts about whether Wolak’s swollen eye might have led to some kind of permanent damage, but Wolak himself said he checked out OK at the hospital. Doing this fight in December gives both men plenty of time to rest, just in case. I wonder how much different it might be. Wolak probably won’t have to be dealing with a massively swollen eye next time around, which should help his chances of winning, but also I thought there were signs as the fight went on that Rodriguez had kind of “figured out” Wolak. So as if a replay of a Fight of the Year candidate isn’t enticing enough, it has other elements of drama going in now, too. Usually rematches of Fight of the Year candidates aren’t as good as the first, but this one stands a chance of equaling its predecessor. Mwah. Mwah.
  • ShoBox and another bad scorecard. I really am of the mind that the scorecard Patricia Morse Jarman handed in for Casey Ramos vs. Georgi Kevlishvili was worse than any single card in Williams-Lara. I didn’t diligently score the fight because I didn’t see a round that was close; I had Ramos, the junior lightweight prospect, winning all he way, same as the Showtime broadcast team that gave Ramos every round except maybe one of them. Yet Morse found a way to give it to Kevlishvili. Huh? Why? Keep in mind that Jarman, unlike the rookies handling Williams-Lara, has a history of bad scorecards: The wide win she scored for Beibut Shumenov over Gabriel Campillo in their 2010 light heavyweight rematch was easily the worst of the year. The only reason it’s not more offensive is because unlike in Williams-Lara, the right man — Ramos — won, since the other two judges were a bit more sane. Ramos performed pretty well and is worth another look, but outside of Jarman’s wackiness, the true attention-getter was Diego Magdaleno, another junior lightweight prospect who really impressed me. He got knocked down in the 1st round and Alejandro Perez never laid down like an “opponent;” Magdaleno just fought better and harder as the fight went on, is all. He looked worlds better than the fight I saw him in last year. In a weak division, he could be rocketing to the top before long.
  • Brian Viloria and more bad scorecards. I haven’t caught up to the entirety of Brian Viloria vs. Julio Cesar Miranda, but if you thought JARMAN’S scorecard was bad, wait until you get a load of this one. In a 12-round flyweight title fight, the announced scores were 98-91, 96-93 and 97-93. BoxRec has the scores as a far more mathematically sound 117-110, 116-113 and 114-113, so I guess this was an announcer screw-up, although you would’ve thought somebody from Hawaii in some regulatory position would have noticed it beforehand. In the above link, the fight gets credit as a Fight of the Year candidate, and from the 1st and 12th round I posted below, it sure does look like they went to town on each other. If you’re a Viloria fan you have to be worried about him looking gassed and wanting to avoid harm in that final round, since he got upset by Carlos Tamara last year after running out of steam. Anyway, Viloria might be fighting junior flyweight Giovani Segura next when Segura moves up to 112 pounds, and that has the makings of a good scrap, too.
  • Juan Manuel Marquez warm-up. Now we’re to our first alleged “dive” of the weekend. Marquez, in a warm-up for a Manny Pacquiao trilogy bout in November at 144 pounds, weighed 138 against Likar Ramos on Saturday, but it wasn’t much of a warm-up. Ramos went down in a highly suspect way, only closing his eyes once he landed — and he didn’t land very hard for someone who was laying there as though he’d been knocked clean unconscious. I’m not conspiracy-minded, but if I was I’d say something about “man it’s so obvious Ramos got paid to take a fall so he wouldn’t mess up Pacquiao-Marquez III!” I’m more of the mind that Ramos was playing the “take the money and run” card, perhaps after not really liking the taste of the solid right Marquez landed on him. The video of that knockout(ish) is below. At least Marquez got a training camp in, which could help prevent some rust. And him fighting at 138 strongly suggests to me that he’ll be well below the 144-pound limit come November, as he’s the smaller man by far of the two. Another video below is one that gets you started on bro Rafael Marquez’ own warm-up fight in a different division, with Marquez looking to take on Toshiaki Nishioka at junior featherweight in a move down in the divisional ladder. There are different opinions out there about how good Rafa looked, with some saying he was appeared diminished and others saying he was strong and sharp. My take is that Rafa is definitely slower as a result of the Israel Vazquez trilogy, but he didn’t seem any slower or bad on defense to me in the 1st round than he did in his last few fights since the Vazquez bout, a lineup of fights that included a beating by Juan Manuel Lopez. But he was getting hit way too much a bit later, and his fast jab in the 1st became a slow one thereafter. Maybe that’s just conditioning and rust, maybe that’s taking a warm-up opponent lightly, or maybe it’s a bad sign. If Marquez is diminished, he will have a very tough time with Nishioka (and might even at full strength), but he’ll also still apparently have his power and his chin, if this fight was any indicator.
  • The rest. Our Andrew Harrison covered most of the waterfront with his dispatch on the excellent Kevin Mitchell-John Murray lightweight battle and bizarre Ricky Burns-Nicky Cook junior lightweight battle, but I’ve attached video of the Mitchell-Murray finish and the very short Ricky-Nicky meeting, for those who didn’t catch either. Mitchell-Murray is worth watching in whole, FWIW; and while some initially thought Ricky-Nicky looked like a dive, I think most people now believe Nicky was legitimately injured… On the ESPN2 undercard of Rodriguez-Wolak, welterweight-turning-junior welterweight prospect Raymond Serrano didn’t really stand out to me in any way; his fight with Daniel Sostre was hard-fought if not a bit ugly in places, but I dunno, I’m not sure what Serrano’s identity is as a fighter and he has a lot of flaws besides… Junior flyweight Roman Gonzalez won over the weekend, and I fear that people who are hopeful of a meeting with Segura won’t get it. Segura is going to keep moving up in divisions fairly rapidly, I suspect, while Gonzalez is still settling in at 108 pounds. But Gonzalez’ fight was carried on the dual Marquez card, which streamed on Top Rank’s website, and all accounts are that the stream was much improved over the promoter’s previous choppy work, so there’s some good news for ya… Cruiserweight Marco Huck KO’d Hugo Hernan Garay, and I included that video, too, not because it’s all that interesting — it’s a chase him down and hit him with awkward shots kind of KO — but because I knew Marco would feel left out, since his was the last major fight I didn’t mention. 


About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.