Weekend Afterthoughts On Nonito Donaire, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., More

When’s the last time we had any Weekend Afterthoughts around here? Maybe enough time to let neogrunge fashion become a thing. This past weekend had few U.S. televised fights of any note, with most of the most meaningful fights off TV.

There was this knockout by Amir Imam of Fernando Angulo, which has the final visuals of a major knockout and dynamic of a momentous knockout for a top prospect (Angulo hasn’t been KO’d since 2002) if not a punch that resoundingly smacks of a big KO at first glance:

Beyond that, here are your other Afterthoughts.

  • Arthur Abraham vs Robert Stieglitz IV. The two best super middleweights not named “Andre Ward” met this weekend and concluded their fourth bout, with Abraham finishing it in style with a knockout. Stieglitz was a willing enough combatant early, but couldn’t stand up to Abraham’s harder shots and suffered said knockout. Abraham was better defensively than usual, not that it saved him from a nose bleed and, according to his team, a broken jaw.
  • Scott Quigg vs Kiko Martinez. A good showing here from one of the U.K.’s best junior featherweights, although disappointingly it doesn’t increase the likelihood of a meeting between him and the other, Carl Frampton. Quigg was terrific, stopping the usually durable Martinez in two rounds, which is fewer than Frampton did it (and, perhaps, Frampton softened up the aging Martinez for this). The manager of champion Guillermo Rigondeaux has said they’d like to make the Quigg fight, which is a good fight, but it’s hard not to wonder whether that talk is meant to give Rigo some leverage in negotiations with featherweight Vasyl Lomachenko in what would be a meeting of the two best Olympians of their generation.
  • Darleys Perez vs Anthony Crolla. This one was a draw, but most people had it for Crolla. We scored it seven rounds to five for Crolla, which should’ve been conclusive for Crolla given the two point deductions for Perez, although it’s entirely possible that a reasonable viewer could’ve scored it 7-5 the other way around. It’s too bad we don’t get the fairy tale of Crolla, after heroically breaking up a burglary and suffering career-threatening injuries, getting the big victory. Crolla will, however, likely get a rematch, although you have to wonder whether he can match the emotional intensity of what he gave us this past weekend in the lightweight showdown.
  • Nonito Donaire vs Anthony Settoul. The ultra-talented Donaire can beat guys like Settoul in his sleep, especially when he’s below 126 lbs. He did it in two rounds, and was great, although we’d be wise to buy into his re-dedication to elite training until we see him do this against anyone all that good. His team would like to see him against Quigg, which would make a helluva silver or bronze medal of Quigg match-ups if Quigg-Rigo and Quigg-Frampton can’t happen.
  • Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs Marcos Reyes. The stereotype of Mexicans as a noble, hard-working people might be condescending, but you could do worse by way of stereotypes. Any Mexicans or Mexican-Americans who support Chavez still and consider it some kind of commendable ethnic or national point of pride should shelf that. Chavez, unlike his heroic blue-collar father, is a lazy, spoiled problem child who is fully committed to wasting whatever talents he inherited by birth; the non-professional once again failed to make weight (170) and won mainly by virtue of his size advantage. It really made very little sense from the beginning that anyone who liked Chavez, Sr. would also like Chavez, Jr. just because of his name, although at least Jr. had a stretch of some years where he wasn’t boring. Now, he is nothing — neither interesting nor a real contender. Well, maybe, he is a symbol of the corrupting quality of dynasty. It’s just not the kind of thing anyone ought to celebrate.
  • Carl Frampton vs Alejandro Gonzalez, Jr. While Frampton has flashed signs of “special,” he mostly has shown an all-around competence, a la Danny Garcia — B+ everywhere. This weekend he was more like a B- everywhere, and Gonzalez gave him all he could handle despite the clear decision win in Frampton’s U.S. debut, especially with the early knockdowns. Frampton has subsequently talked about moving up in weight, which is bad news for the Quigg-Frampton superfight but un-terrible news for Frampton facing the winner of Abner Mares-Leo Santa Cruz. Quigg-Frampton is still better, though.
  • McJoe Arroyo vs Arthur Villanueva. This one could’ve gone either way-ish, but Arroyo won the junior bantamweight bout that was stopped short by a cut. That’s OK. What’s not OK is that the judges had it so wide for Arroyo.
  • Cesar Cuenca vs Ik Yang. Some folk seemed particularly impressed by Cuenca’s showing in this junior welterweight bout. Do not count this writer among “some folk.” It was good enough, and not much more.
  • Samuel Clarkson vs Jerry Odom. On ShoBox this weekend, super middleweight prospect Odom suffered a big upset knockout loss vs Clarkson. It might not have happened if Clarkson had made weight at the weigh-in, or, if Odom’s team is to be believed, had Clarkson made the next-day weigh-in. Yet, according to that account, Odom insisted upon going forward with the fight anyway. He demonstrated the same excessive bravery in the ring by responding to knockdowns in the following way: slugging it out. Odom wouldn’t make excuses afterward, although his team did. With humanity as a whole, there’s always been a fine line between bravery and stupidity, and it feels like Odom erred on the wrong side of that equation this weekend. Whatever his value as a prospect — and some element of it at least is dependent on him riding that fine line — we can only hope he didn’t fully ruin it by way of that error. Odom can at least give us some excitement, as he has shown repeatedly. Would that he give us some more while fighting against properly-sized opponents in the future.

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.