It was another of those weekends where the only U.S.-televised shows came from influential adviser Al Haymon’s mostly-free PBC series, and while much of it was as bland as it looked on paper, we genuinely got one of the better fights of 2015 so far in Krzysztof Glowacki’s upset win over Marco Huck. The highlights:
- Krzysztof Glowacki vs Marco Huck, cruiserweight. On Spike Friday, Glowacki came in undefeated but unproven and potentially dangerous, while Huck came in as one of the longest-running successful cruiserweights in the division’s relatively short history. What we got was a big upset with traded knockdowns, shifts in momentum and both men spending a fair amount of time on queer street. It was good enough to make it one of the three or so best fights of 2015 so far, with not much else in the running — Lucas Matthysse vs Ruslan Provodnikov and Roman Martinez vs Orlando Salido are the best of the rest, and none of them are stellar. It was still nice to get such a good fight in a year when they have been sparse, and anyone who is pissing on this fight is doing so out of animus toward Haymon, pure and simple. Huck has always been sloppy, but resilient; he was sloppy in this fight, too, and it cost him against Glowacki, who short-circuited his resilience with an 11th round knockdown followed by a nasty finishing sequence. If you didn’t tune in because the main event didn’t thrill you and you weren’t sure Glowacki was worthy, join the club, but track it down. Glowacki-Huck II would be just fine, although Glowacki now figures prominently into a cruiserweight mix that has a whole list of relatively unproven punchers — with Glowacki now the owner of the best win among them all.
- Lucian Bute vs Andrea Di Luisa, light heavyweight. If you squinted during Saturday’s NBC Sports Net card and didn’t pay any mind to who he was fighting, you could see signs of the “old” Bute. There were those uppercuts to the body we all used to love so well, and as the fight went on he loosened up considerably. By the 4th round, a left hand put Di Luisa down hard, and the dick ref ignored the fact that Di Luisa indicated repeatedly that he wasn’t ready to continue, so Di Luisa took a few unnecessary shots before his corner threw a giant red towel into the ring. If you squinted less, you’d notice that Bute got hit plenty by an absolutely unqualified opponent. This might be enough to get Bute a big fight against a fellow Canadian light heavyweight, whether as fodder for PBC faves Adonis Stevenson and Artur Beterbiev or a rematch with Jean Pascal. Or the winner of the fight discussed below this one.
- Eleider Alvarez vs Isidro Ronani Pietro, light heavyweight. Alvarez got badly rocked on NBC Sports Net Saturday at one point and had an overall rough time with Pietro, but it was the kind of bout where he might come out better for it. Pietro was a rugged customer, although Alvarez remains relatively green as a member of the Canadian light heavyweight cottage industry, so maybe it was about that. Alvarez pulled out the decision, and it would be both easy and viable to use this struggle to write him off. Just keep in mind he could improve from this, is all.
- Steve Cunningham vs Antonio Tarver, heavyweight. Two old box-and-move non-heavyweight heavyweights produced a lackluster draw in the main event on Spike Friday. Who woulda thunk it?
There were other fights. Those were the ones I felt like mentioning.