Weekend Afterthoughts On Two Excellent Scraps, Jorge Linares And Ivan Calderon

It’s a good weekend for boxing when the big question is, “Which of two excellent bouts was better?” My vote is forthcoming, but video at the end of the post will allow you to make up your own mind.

  • Adrian Hernandez-Kompayak Porpramook II. The picture was a giveaway. I vote for the one with “porp.” Porpramook lost the rematch of these two top junior flyweights, with Hernandez looking very good and very enormous. But these two stood and slugged it out for six rounds before Porpramook succumbed, and the referee stopped it appropriately when the Thai fighter wouldn’t respond to commands. I love typing “Thai fighter” because it makes me think of TIE fighters and Star Wars is the bee’s knees. Also, the goofiness of the WBC’s rule about point deductions for accidental head butts never ceases to surprise.
  • Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr.-Jonathan Oquendo. This was a close second, though. How often does a replacement fight — Vazquez was supposed to fight Rafael Marquez in what would also have been a quality match — surprise with how nicely it turns out? More than I would expect, but I guess that’s the nature of a surprise and I should stop expecting certain things. Oquendo brought it fast, Vazquez took some time to get going and their 5th round was Round of the Year-like as the two speeds met in the middle. Oquendo eventually took the 10 count on purpose, but he put up a helluva fight before then. And Vazquez now has been a delight in every fight I’ve seen him in outside the Nonito Donaire bout. I’d suggest setting up Vaquez-Marquez again but they tried twice already and it might not be meant to be. Vazquez-Jorge Arce II, maybe? Not sure what other good junior feathers he matches up well with for maximum action.
  • Jorge Linares and Ivan Calderon. Both of these light-punching fighters who have faded from dizzying heights were in action this weekend, with different results. Ivan Calderon got stopped again despite moving back to a division where his dominance was historic, strawweight, and now looks to be done, although he lost to a top-10 105-pounder, Moises Fuentes. He can show glimpses of his old fleet-footed defensive maestro self for stretches but now gets hit more and doesn’t take the punches well. Time to retire, Calderon, and wait for a call from the Hall of Fame. I haven’t seen Linares’ bout, but reports are that he was a bit shaky despite the lopsided decision over experienced journeyman Hector Velasquez. I keep thinking he’s got enough talent to overcome his limitations — no power at lightweight and skin that cuts in every fight, including this one — but none of the indicators are pointing that way right now.

Videos of Hernandz-Porpramook II and Vazquez-Oquendo after the jump, at least until YouTube takes them down.

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.