It’s the second week of July and the boxing schedule is even better and more packed than the first. If things keep going at this rate for the month, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather will be fighting on network TV on the 28th, followed by a civilised panel discussion between Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum.
Sorry, I was just excited about lots of good boxing. Maybe I should leave the speculative parodying to Scott Kraus at The Rabbit Punch. This week we’ve got an exciting HBO World Championship Boxing main event in Amir Khan vs. Danny Garcia, Glen Johnson is fighting on Friday Night Fights and there’s one of the craziest and most intriguing heavyweight match-ups in years, Dereck Chisora vs. David Haye. It’s so crazy that British authorities wouldn’t sanction it, leaving their colleagues from Luxembourg to do the job. I don’t know if I approve or not, but good on the EU for organising a freak show even as it seems to be falling apart. All that, and Anthony Mundine is fighting on a terrible pay-per-view. Oh well, at least Anthony Mundine fighting in terrible PPVs is something new for you American fans, we’ve been suffering for years Down Under.
- Amir Khan vs. Danny Garcia, Saturday, HBO, Las Vegas. Saturday’s HBO main event was a pretty decent patch-up job after Khan vs. Lamont Peterson II fell apart due to Peterson’s positive drug test. Despite losing to Peterson last year, Bolton’s Khan (26-2) is still one of the anointed. His promoter, Golden Boy, thinks the junior welterweight is going to be one of the sport’s future superstars. Garcia (23-0) is coming off an HBO televised win over Erik Morales, but hasn’t fought at the same level as Khan. The Philly fighter does everything well, but allowed himself to be outfoxed at times by a version of Morales who really should be past his use by date. Still, Garcia is a legit, hungry contender, so kudos to Khan for taking the fight. Garcia’s father and trainer, Angel, has been doing his best to hype the fight by being loud and obnoxious at press conferences and dissing Khan’s Muslim faith. Not cool bro. Especially from a guy who looks like a cross between Prince Valiant and Mr. Spock. But I digress. To me, Khan doesn’t quite deserve the praise that’s been heaped on him. He’s very fast of hand and foot, but seems to be panicked at all times. His style could best be described as flight with combinations… and shoving. The fact that he’s often not quite fast or savvy enough to get away means that he’s been in some damn good fights though. That and his fighting heart. So he’s vulnerable. Despite that, Garcia is probably not the man to capitalise. He’s just not fast enough. It’s by no means out of the question that he could hurt Khan and drag him into a firefight, though. Then it’s anybody’s guess.
- David Haye vs. Dereck Chisora, Saturday, Epix, London. “People like freak shows. We’re selling a freak show and if people want to watch, they want to watch, we don’t care.” Say what you like about Dereck Chisora, but the Zimbabwe born London heavyweight sure knows how to call a spade a spade. Clearly Chisora (15-3) is an authentic nutjob (check him out with his Pomeranian in the above video), but I’m not going to let that or the controversy surrounding this fight get in the way of my enjoying it. Sorry, it’s just too appealing. I’d quite like somebody to shut David Haye (25-2) up, and if it has to be a fruitloop like Chisora, so be it. I actually think “Del Boy” is in with a decent chance too, despite being a 3-1 underdog at the bookmakers. He’s a natural heavyweight, he’s motivated and he’s been in with good competition in his last few fights, despite losing three of them. He acquitted himself much better against Vitali Klitschko than Haye did against Wlad. If Chisora can bring the kind of pressure he brought to the Vitali fight, then Haye very well might wilt. It’s not like Haye’s got a cast iron chin, either. The wild card is Haye’s crazy, one-shot power. “Hayemaker” tends to knock out people he can hit, and Chisora gets hit. Regardless, I reckon if Chisora is committed, covers up and digs to the body then he’ll have a chance to put Haye’s questionable chin and stamina to the test, probably in the mid to late rounds. On the untelevised undercard, comebacking middleweight Fernando Guerrero fights Jose Medina, who lost to the guy I’m about to make fun of Anthony Mundine for fighting. Even more improbably, he also lost to a guy called Jose Medina in what I can only assume was an all Jose Medina grudge match.
- Glen Johnson vs. Andrzej Fonfara, Friday, ESPN2, Chicago. “The Road Warrior” gets a well-deserved step down in competition for this light heavyweight bout, facing Polish prospect Andrzej Fonfara (21-2). Johnson (51-16-2) is 43 and has perhaps slowed down a notch or two, judging by recent fights. Fonfara hasn’t exactly been in with a murderers’ row, though, so the Jamaican is an enormous step up in class. The Pole is a fairly upright fighter who’s likely used to chasing his overmatched opponents around the ring. He won’t need to chase Johnson, who will be on his chest all night long. I think the old fan favourite still has more than enough left in him to win this level of fight.
- The Rest. The previously mentioned, disgraceful Anthony Mundine (43-4) junior middleweight fight with Bronco McKart (54-9-1) is in Las Vegas on Saturday. McKart would have been a good opponent for Mundine’s U.S. debut if it took place in 1999. It’s a Wealth TV PPV (whatever that means). I reckon I’ll be able to count the number of U.S. buys on my fingers and toes… Mexican super middleweight prospect Marco Antonio Periban (17-0) faces James Parison (15-1-1) in Texas the same night… Also Saturday, power-punching Hernan “Tysoncito” Marquez (33-2) returns to the ring to fight Fernando Lumacad (26-3-3) in a flyweight bout in Culiacan…There’s a fight between Mexican flyweights Edgar Jimenez (15-6-1) and Julian Rivera (11-6) on Telemundo on Friday, as well as a Billy Dib fight off TV, if you care about such things… Going into early next week, there’s a card Monday headlined by the lineal flyweight champion, Sonny Boy Jaro (34-10-5), and arguably the world’s top junior lightweight, Takashi Uchiyama (18-0).