I wasn’t so sure about the whole world ending in 2012 thing until Sonny Boy Jaro beat Pongsaklek Wonjongkam on the weekend. Now I’m starting to think it might happen. The only thing that stopped me from running into the street for a naked looting session was Wlad Klitschko KOing the hapless Jean Marc Mormeck.
This isn’t one of those chock-a-block weeks in which we’re going to have to insert subliminal messages into TQBR copy to encourage you to stop watching boxing and bathe, but there’s one big show on Saturday night. Showtime has the rematch of featherweight Orlando Salido’s 2011 upset of Juan Manuel Lopez and it’s an intriguing fight in many ways. Apart from that, The Ring’s number one middleweight contender, Danny Geale, is fighting in his native Tasmania and there will generally be punches being thrown around the world.
- Juan Manuel Lopez vs. Orlando Salido, Saturday, Showtime, San Juan Puerto Rico. Featherweight Juan Manuel Lopez was once one of boxing’s golden children, an undefeated young contender with crushing power who loved to stand and trade. He pushed through his defensive shortcomings and shaky chin and fought his way to the top of his division before Mexican veteran Orlando Salido brought the dreams crashing down in April last year. Tim, as ever, will have the full preview, but there are so many intriguing elements to this fight. Has Lopez (31-1) learnt anything at all? Didn’t look like it in his tune up against the light punching Mike Oliver. Is Salido (37-11-2) losing it? Seemed like it when he got dropped twice by Weng Haya in an unnecessarily hard-fought victory in December. Basically, I can’t wait to see what happens. Virtually no outcome would surprise me, apart from the decision going to the judges. That’s my kind of fight. Featherweight prospect/contender Mikey Garcia (27-0) is on the televised undercard, fighting Bernabe Concepcion (29-5-1). Garcia looks the goods and the hard-punching but limited Concepcion is probably a fair bit below his level at this stage, even if he does have an old school hair cut/moustache combo going on. Come to think of it, so does Garcia. If Garcia uses the smart defence and patience he’s shown in previous fights, Saturday should be a breeze. The popular but poorly named Puerto Rican Arroyo brothers are fighting on the off-TV portion of the card.
- Danny Geale vs. Osumanu Adama, Wednesday, Hobart Australia. Aussie middleweight and minor TQBR favourite Danny Geale has talked a lot of good game about facing the big names at middleweight, but so far failed to execute. This will be the second relatively easy opponent he has faced since taking Sebastian Sylvester’s title in Germany last year. Ghana’s Adama (20-2) is no doubt a tough fighter, but his two losses to prospects Don George and Dyah Davis reveal that he’s not at world level yet, not even in the relatively weak middleweight division. Geale (26-1), who brings a high activity style and Australian TV money to the bargaining table, should really be trying to land fights with the top names in the division. On the undercard, featherweight spoiler Billy Dib (33-1) faces his first live body in a while in the form of Eduardo Escobedo (32-3), in what is unlikely to be an enjoyable fight. Former garbage man turned heavyweight contender Kali Meehan (38-4) is also fighting.
- The Rest. Olympian and son of Providence, Rhode Island, Jason Estrada (17-4), faces veteran loser Dominique Alexander (20-13-1) in his hometown on Friday… Andrew Harrison will most likely bring his considerable analytical skill to bear on Ricky Burns’ (33-2) fight against Paulus Moses (28-1) later in the week a British Beat column. Burns is riding high after upsetting Michael Katsidis last year in his lightweight debut… Irish middleweight Andy Lee (27-1) is staying busy in Chicago on Saturday against Alexis Camacho (17-3), who has lost two on the trot.