Boxing had a fairly busy schedule this past weekend and with the vast majority of fights being little more than fighter showcases I have some quick opinions that must be expressed.
- My esteemed colleague Tim Starks called it correctly when he labeled former light heavy Antonio Tarver’s 4th rd KO over outclassed Danny Santiago as “Meh”. I would go a step farther and rate Tarver’s outing as a solid “YAWN!”. The fight barely held my interest and thankfully it lasted just a 1/3 of it’s scheduled duration. Danny Santiago, an unheralded journeyman who’s claim to fame was being booted off season 3 of The Contender on the very first day due to concerns that he would not be able to make the super middleweight limit of 168, should not have been allowed in the same ring as Tarver. It was a clear mismatch and shame on Showtime for relenting to the whims of apparent “in-house promoter” Gary Shaw for airing this fight. I understand that Showtime’s motives are clear, they want a Dawson-Tarver match-up so bad they can taste it. Too bad Tarver wants no part of Dawson. “If anybody wants to dispute whose division this is, come see me.” These words were actually uttered by Tarver in his post fight presser. It’s downright comical. Before Tarver makes such ridiculous claims maybe he could take on some live bodies that inhabit the 175 division. Names like Clinton Woods, Adrian Diaconu, hell I would respect a fight with Julio Gonzalez. Of course I would not hold my breath waiting for Team Tarver to accept any of these fights.
- One more thing on Tarver, I commend him for still being relevant at the antique age of 38 and I can understand at this point in his career it is all about the biggest possible payday but let’s be honest. Tarver was never a draw on his own merits despite being the undisputed light heavyweight champion. What I would like to see from Mason Dixon, er, Antonio Tarver is perhaps moving his loquacious talents to behind the camera. I think he has some decent acting chops and would love to see him hired on as a boxing analyst.
- Vernon Forrest has looked decent in his last two outings against limited opposition. Baldomir was built to order and Michele Piccirillo could not break an egg with his fists. Still a healthy Forrest brings a somewhat marketable name back to the barren jr. middleweight division. A fight with #2 ranked Roman Karmazin would be intriguing but aside from that not much is palatable. Of course if all else fails there is another crack at Ricardo Mayorga, though that fight would be somewhat of a hard sell as well.
- Nonito Donaire looked good in dispatching of Luis Maldanado but lets not go overboard. Maldanado still caught him with more leather than Donaire’s handlers would have liked and there are still some technical flaws that must be adjusted before a world class fighter takes advantage. Still, Nonito is all the makings of becoming a star in the Philippines and while he will never reach the level of Pacquiao (I doubt anyone ever will) his quite affable demeanor could mean big things in the way of fan support.
- Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. registered arguably his best win to date by stopping 20-1 Ray Sanchez on Top Rank’s small PPV. Chavez continues to bring those who doubted his merits around and a fight with former Contender star Alfonso Gomez seems to be in the works. That fight would be huge in the LA area (I’m thinking Home Depot Center) and both fighters seem eager to fight. When fights like this take place boxing fans are the real winners.
- Say what you will but I think that “Iron Fists” PPV from Cancun, MX featuring Jorge Linares and Edwin Valero in separate matches could be a tasty treat for fight fans.