Weekend Afterthoughts And Quick Jabs And Round And Round

OMFG it’s a three-for-one column! The day job and other preoccupations have kept your founder from staying on top of the news of late, but fortunately the rest of the staff gang has been giving us bloggy goodness damn near every day. In this everything-roundup, we’ll hit the high spots.

And the low spots.

Obviously, that video above from the past weekend is one of them. The riot came after a fight where junior flyweight Luis Lazarte once more was a fouling maniac, including biting his eventual conqueror, Johnriel Casimero. Apparently what set it off was that the crowd wanted more biting: “Boxing match? What’s this bullshit? I thought I was going to a biting match!” Nah, in reality it probably the crowd getting mad at a moment where Casimero rushed after Lazarte when Lazarte turned his back for no reason, or maybe it was simply Casimero celebrating his victory in the most routine way ever, i.e. ascending the ring ropes and holding up his hands. But but but wait it gets worse! Lazarte apparently threatened the life of the referee, and Argentinian authorities have no intention of punishing Lazarte for any of this. Lazarte needs to get out of boxing — hopefully he’ll at least be confined to Argentina for future fights and no one of any note will bother facing him there. I tend not to wish harm upon any boxer; I want them all to be healthy and happy for what they do for us. But I took some pleasure in watching Lazarte get his bell rung.

It’s not the only low spot for boxing in the news. Brace yourself. It’s mostly ugly out there.

  • Friday Night Fights. Whether Boxing 360 said what they said about this weekend’s ESPN2 main event was because they were in a legal fight with the B-side in the bout, Angel Hernandez, or because they genuinely didn’t think he was healthy enough to fight is secondary: This was one of the most mismatched main events in recent FNF memory, what with an Olympian and blue-chip prospect/contender in Demetrius Andrade taking on a guy on short notice who was far, far worse than Andrade’s recent competition. I didn’t hear this “moan” I’ve read about in a few places after watching the knockout and replay numerous times, but the mismatchiness of this fight was pretty obvious in reality, besides on paper. If Andrade wants a big fight with the big names at junior middleweight or middleweight, he’ll need to impress against far better competition than this.
  • Lucas Matthysse vs. Humberto Soto matched with Lamont Peterson vs. Amir Khan II. Matthysse won a stay-busy fight this weekend to help set up what is, to my eye, the best card of the year so far by a wide margin. These two junior welterweight fights are guaranteed high-level action — we know Peterson-Khan II will rock because the first one did, a borderline Fight of the Year candidate, while Matthysse and Soto have all-action styles. Oh, and every one of these guys knows how to box at least a little, so we’re not looking at mere crude slugfests here (not that there are anything wrong with those). Only problem: We gotta wait until May 17 for this thing.
  • Saul Alvarez vs. Shane Mosley and the crappy Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Miguel Cotto undercard. Our man Jeff Pryor put a serious eye to Alvarez-Mosley, and I weighed in in the comments section. It’s a gross fight, really, with a fighter who’s dangerously over the hill and jeopardizing his health every time he fights, and part of me thinks it’s about Golden Boy taking revenge on Mosley for leaving the company for a dalliance with Top Rank’s Manny Pacquiao. But the rest of the undercard that is either being arranged or has talked about being arranged is no damn good, too. One fight under discussion is Peter Quillin vs. Winky Wright at middleweight. Quillin is a real talent, but Wright is a nearly 40-year-old semi-retired fighter who’s only fought twice since the end of 2006 and lost both fights, albeit to world-class fighters. Another fight that was maybe gonna be on the undercard was Robert Guerrero vs. Paulie Malignaggi at welterweight, a bout that does nothing for me because I’m annoyed at both men for constantly talking about fighting people only to not actually fight them. (This time it was Guerrero to blame; Malignaggi said yes, but Guerrero said he wanted to fight only on regular HBO rather than HBO pay-per-view. What Guerrero may not have realized is that he was auditioning, alongside Alvarez, for the fight with Mayweather he’s been screaming about wanting). After a handful of very, very good PPV undercards last year — some courtesy Golden Boy — this is not a promising start to big-time PPV undercards.
  • Golden Boy’s threat of credential denial and Mayweather’s comments on Jeremy Lin. And could they make this PPV card worse, you wonder? Maybe they could if they threatened to withhold media credentials for reporters they don’t like, which is exactly what it sounded like Oscar De La Hoya said here on Twitter. If so, that’s bad form. Or maybe he was just worried that with all the credential requests, they’d be exactly one over the limit. Which would be a doltish thing to say. When it comes to Oscar, don’t count out maliciousness, doltishness or malicious doltishness as options. Also, Mayweather needs to stop with the talk about Asians. His remarks about New York Knick Jeremy Lin were not only incorrect (no doubt Lin’s race is a part of why he’s getting such attention, but far from the only reason, and there are plenty of popular black basketball players) but if you’ve got a history of uttering racially insensitive remarks about Asians, maybe you should keep your mouth shut on the subject indefinitely.
  • Manny Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley still unsigned? If you’re wondering why I’ve had nothing to say about Pacquiao fighting Bradley, it’s because I don’t tend to think a fight is happening until it’s signed. And seven days ago now, we first heard the terms were agreed to, only for the fight to still not be officially announced. Bradley has signed the contract, but if anyone has reported that Pacquiao has signed it, too, then I’ve missed that. I’m not alleging anything untoward here; I don’t know what the hold-up is, or if it’s just a routine thing or something else. I am just trying to explain the vacancy of discussion here of a pretty big fight.
  • Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.’s popularity, and questions. Chavez’ last fight on HBO was seen by 1.88 million live viewers, the biggest audience for a boxing match for the network since “at least 2010,” according to Kevin Iole. Throw in another 25 million Mexican viewers and an announced audience of 14,120 in attendance, and we’re looking at a guy who’s a massive star and who’s only getting bigger. It’s too bad there are still so many questions about the whole drug testing thing down in Texas, and the safe matchmaking, and so forth. If you didn’t catch some of the debate and questions unanswered in the comments section of this post, I recommend you go back and check it out.

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.