With the boxing world full of events in the near past and near future, here are my thoughts on the festivities in the latest installment of my “Flurried Ramblings”:
Que “Maravilla” Martinez!
In what many believed to be the #1 candidate for Fight of the Year, defending WBC middleweight champion Sergio Martinez turned into Knock out of the Year when a short left hook connected flush to the chin of challenger Paul Williams and sent the “Punisher” crashing face first into the canvas in Atlantic City this past Saturday and broadcast on HBO. As Williams’ face bounced off the ring, talks of him facing Pacquiao ended and the discussion of where Martinez lands in the top five pound for pound began. Many believe since he has taken the tough road to the top, he belongs in the #1 spot. It is true that in hindsight, he has fought the better opposition than both Pacquiao and Mayweather in the last two years, but in Pacquiao’s case, who knew that DLH, Hatton, Cotto, Clottey and Margarito were going to be so easy fodder? On paper, each one of those opponents looked to have sufficient skill or an attribute worthy of beating the “Pacman”, be it skill or size. Do we need to see Martinez-Williams III? Only if we believe that what “Maravilla” scored was a lucky punch. Despite being the defending champion, Martinez had to agree to a catch weight, be announced first and fight out of the blue corner, the one usually reserved for the “opponent”. With his crushing win over Williams, I hope HBO doesn’t allow all those concessions once again to Al Heymon and his fighter and the next time, if there is one, give Martinez the respect he is due.
Eating my Words
In my last entry of the “ITSC”, I mentioned that I would want to see Pacquiao face Martinez in his next fight. Now I am not to sure. Although I think it would be a great fight between the large, mobile and southpaw Martinez and the much smaller, quick footed and also southpaw Pacquiao, I don’t think the logistics of the match will add up. In his post fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman, Martinez mentioned that he would be willing to fight Pacquiao at a catch weight of 156 lbs. I think that weight is just too much for Pacquiao and will give total advantage to Martinez. Besides that, when will this catch weight nonsense stop? Obviously at that weight, the bout will be for Martinez’s WBC middleweight title giving Pacquiao yet another historic feat to add to his impressive career. I just want it to stop already with all the tomfoolery. Let’s just admit that Pacquiao is one of the best that we have ever seen and probably will have the pleasure of seeing and stop at that, no need to make up go all the way up to light heavyweight to finally see him beat. As somebody posted on twitter, “throw him in the super six!”
Will Marquez Get Old?
This Saturday night on HBO we will see the return of the three time world champion in as many divisions, Juan Manuel Marquez facing former world champion Michael Katsidis for Marquez’s share of the lightweight crown. I will be very curious to see how Marquez looks against the aggressive Katsidis. Granted that in the last two times Marquez has performed in the lightweight division he has looked spectacular with the first stopping Juan Diaz in the middle rounds and in the second winning an easy unanimous decision over the same foe, it has been four months since Marquez has fought and it can only get tougher for the old lion to get in battle ready shape. I think his performance here will convince a lot of people of whether he deserves that third fight against Pacquiao. If he is able to stop the much younger and bigger Katsidis in his tracks, I am sure that he will probably get the money making match up against Manny. If he struggles or loses, then the talk of the boxing town is that he got old over night.
Bob “Betty Crocker” Arum
It is common knowledge on the internet seas that no venue has been secured for the pending jr. welterweight unification title bout between St. Louis’ Devon Alexander and southern California’s Timothy Bradley set for the end of January ’11. The fact that they are virtual unknowns outside of hardcore boxing fans is primarily the reason why both Don King and Gary Shaw, promoters of Alexander and Bradley respectively, are having trouble finding a home the fight. I have heard the great Bob Arum, head honcho of Top Rank, say time and time again that you must let a fight simmer, to bake, to cook, and in this case, Arum couldn’t be more right. I can guess that the reason this fight is being made is because both camps believe that this is the biggest paycheck both one can make and they want to have the fight while both fighters hold the title and are undefeated. If that wasn’t the case, would any of us be interested? I mean, let’s say only one of them was a champion or one of them was undefeated, would we be so interested in seeing this fight then? Do their styles really tell of an exciting fight? Maybe it would be best to see them against other jr. welterweights in the deep division and if they come out unscathed, then that would be a fight to see.
Top Rank Back in Cali
On December 4th, Top Rank will be returning to California with “Harm’s Way: Chavez Jr. vs. Gomez” at the Honda Center in Anaheim. When this fight card was first announced, I was really looking forward to attending since besides the main event; Top Rank announced Brandon Rios, Vanes Martirosyan and Humberto “Zorrita” Soto as part of the fight card. Well, since then only Soto is left standing on the under card as he defends his WBC lightweight title against Urbano Antillon in a pretty good scrap. Rios, who was slated to face Noe Bolaños on this fight card, ended up stopping Omri Lowther on the Pacquiao-Margarito under card after a slot opened up once Kelly Pavlik fell to the wayside and no official reason was given why the “Nightmare” will not be fighting on December 4th. Never the less, I will make the trek north to the “Tragic Kingdom” to enjoy the festivities.
♪♫I Got a Feeling♪♫
Last week, Tijuana’s favorite son Erik “Terrible” Morales came down from the Otomi Mountains in Central Mexico to hold two press conferences, one in TJ and the other in LA, to announce his next fight on December 18th against Jorge “Hyena” Barrios at the Caliente Stadium in his native city. Since this event will take place practically in my backyard, it is a given that I will be attending. For some reason though and I don’t have a reason to, feel that the venue is going to change. December is a chilly month in southern California/northern Baja California terms and with the venue being an outdoor one, I have strange feeling that the venue will change at the last minute. Box Latino or Pelucho Promotions are known for being the most organized promotional outfits out there and even though I believe that Morales is also working with Nacho Huizar’s KO Entertainment, I don’t know if that is enough to make me feel secure in this event happening in Tijuana.
I hope I am wrong.
On a Limb….
With so many fights happening this weekend, I am going to go out on a limb and put some predictions out there. In the Carl Froch-Arthur Abraham vacant WBC super middleweight fight, I am going Froch with a late stoppage or unanimous win over Abraham. I think Froch has a bit more agile legs and is a large, confident super middleweight that is not going to be intimidated by Abraham. I think that Froch’s movement will be enough to confuse Abraham and stop him from putting on an effective offensive. In the Andre Ward-Saiko Bika WBA Super Word super middleweight title (whatever that means), I am going with Ward and a lopsided unanimous decision. This is just a keep busy fight for Ward since his original dance partner fell out with Andre Dirrell claiming some type of neurological issue. Both fights will be broadcast on Showtime.
On the HBO fight card, I am taking Marquez over Katsidis by late KO. If there is one thing that Marquez does well and he does pretty much everything inside a ring above average, is counter punch and I think that Katsidis will be open for it all night long. Once Marquez catches the rhythm of Katsidis, it will be lights out. In the semi main event, Andre Berto easily defends his WBC welterweight title over another handpicked opponent in Freddie Hernandez by late round KO.