With the April Fool’s Day right around the corner, the boxing season is about to set sail and give us huge fights almost every weekend of the month of April and culminating with the mega fight between Filipino congressman Manny Pacquiao and Pomona, CA’s own “Sugar” Shane Mosley. Following are my thoughts on a number of previous fights and what we have coming in the next five weeks.
*Last Saturday night we witnessed the utter destruction of Jorge “Coloradito” Solis by the “Guatanamo Cyclone” Yuriorkis Gamboa from Atlantic City on HBO. Prior to the match up, the HBO broadcasting team mentioned that between the two, Gamboa and Solis had touched the canvas a total of nine times in their professional career, Gamboa five times and Solis, four. By the end of the lopsided beating, it was now tied as Gamboa dropped Solis five times. Solis never looked hurt but more stunned by the speed of the Cuban but despite of that, Solis did mention in his post fight interview that Gamboa did hit harder that Manny Pacquiao who Solis faced back in ’05. After the fight, it was stated that Solis mentioned hanging up the gloves which I believe that it is a bit premature. Despite the beating, I think Solis can give a run for their money to a number of top featherweights or at least serve as a gatekeeper to the division to the likes of “Mikey” Garcia or Juan Carlos Burgos.
*Speaking of Garcia, I think he looked impressive in his dismantling of another undefeated up and coming featherweight, Matt Remillard. Garcia was patient beyond his years in and out of the ring as he dissected Remillard and stopped him in the later rounds. In case you don’t know, I co-host with Primer Round Magazine’s Sal Acevedo Jr. a Spanish language boxing radio show in the internet every Monday night called “Noche De Boxeo”. You can find it at www.nochedeboxeo.com every Monday night at 5pm Pacific time. Recently, I was asked on the show what non-champion boxer I was interested in seeing more of and I answered Mikey Garcia. I think he has a bright future and I hope this is the beginning of many appearances on major fight cards.
*Last Friday night in Mexicali, MX, two-time lightweight champion Jose Luis “Temible” Castillo succumbed to a unanimous decision loss to Jorge “Raton” Paez Jr, son of retired world champion Jorge “Maromero” Paez. It was billed as the son getting revenge for the loss that the father suffered years ago. The truth is, it is rumored that Paez Jr. and Senior are not in speaking terms so I don’t think that revenge was such a motivating factor. According to reports, Castillo looked lethargic and out of shape prompting the Mexicali crowd to boo him at times. It seems that a once great warrior has reached the end of his career. Hopefully we all remember him as the Castillo who battled the late Diego Corrales for ten rounds in their match up in ’05, one that many consider the best fight in the last twenty years. After that, Castillo ran into many controversies, mostly due to his lack of discipline and problems with making weight. Hopefully he retires and stops receiving punishment.
*This coming Saturday night, Mexicali, MX, will host the rematch between jr. flyweight champ Giovanni Segura and Puerto Rican “Iron Boy” Ivan Calderon. In their first fight, Segura completely bulldozed the accomplished Boricua boxer and gave Calderon his first loss. After the bout, Calderon mentioned that he wasn’t in the best shape for the fight. Segura struggled to make the 108 lbs. limit and vowed that their first match up was his last one at that weight. After a considerable purse was offered, Segura sacrificing himself once again to make the jr. flyweight limit and Calderon stated recently that he was ready for the rematch. Despite all of this, I still believe that Segura will have enough to stop Calderon once again. Unlike the first fight which was held in Puerto Rico, the rematch is in Mexican territory and I am sure the “Cachanillas” will make their presence felt.
*In a bout I am looking forward to more than the main event, Ensenada, MX’s Joksan “Torito” Hernandez will face the experienced Ricardo “Piolo” Castillo for an IBF regional title. Castillo, originally of Empalme, Sonora, but now residing in Mexicali, is the younger brother of the aforementioned Jose Luis Castillo. This is your classic boxer versus brawler match up as Hernandez doesn’t know any other direction but forward. Castillo is as experienced as they come. I think this is more of a “pick ‘em” fight than the Segura-Calderon fight and I am looking forward to the face off.
*In about roughly ten days, the most accomplished fighter to come out of Tijuana, Erik “Terrible” Morales will climb into a Las Vegas ring once again. The soon to be thirty-five year old will face the hard hitting Marcos Maidana of Argentina in a fight that not many are giving him a chance to win. Maidana’s only two losses have come at the fists of two current or former champions in the prime of their careers, Andriy Kotelnik and Amir Khan. My thought is this, if Morales can withstand Maidana’s punch, he has the fight in the bag. Morales has enough experience to out box Maidana who really only has his punch going for him. I’ve seen photos of Morales in the mountains of central Mexico as he prepares for this match up and he looks in great shape and on his way to make the 140 lbs. weight limit. I don’t think conditioning will be a factor. It is rumored that once a match up against Juan Manuel Marquez fell to the wayside, Morales begged for this fight. Does he have a trick up his sleeve? We will soon see.
*A week after Morales battles it out in Las Vegas, the “Aztec Princess” Jackie Nava of Tijuana, MX, will face quite possibly the currently most popular female fighter in Mexico, Ana Maria Torres. Torres is a regular on Mexican television, from morning talk shows to having her own documentary. Nava, who was the first woman crowned by the WBC, has captured the super bantamweight title twice and currently holds the interim version while Torres holds the Council’s super flyweight title. The bout has been signed at 120 lbs. It is not crystal clear who holds the advantage there since Nava must drop two pounds while Torres must climb five. There is a rematch clause set for September. Since Torres in considered a Televisa fighter and Nava a Canal Azteca’s, the first bout will be broadcast by the former while the rematch the latter. Who would I want to see the winner of the two face? Kaliesha West, the WBO bantamweight champion who is scheduled to fight in May.
*This Saturday, we will witness the first Fight Camp 360 show produced by Showtime for the Pacquiao-Mosley mega match up. The show follows the blueprint of HBO’s “24/7″ but doesn’t seem as staged plus it tends to show a little bit more of the behind the scenes, warts and all, as it did when it broadcast the negotiations between promoters for the “Super Six”. The most interesting part is that the show is scheduled to be aired on CBS at noon ET/9am PT before the network’s coverage of the NCAA Final Four. This is the result of the agreement between Top Rank and Showtime that lured the event away from HBO and to rival Showtime.