Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Significant mind games have entered the equation for this weekend's matchup between light heavyweights Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins.
Mind games are nothing new for the old mummy from Philly. This is the same guy who twice snatched a miniature Puerto Rican flag out of the hand of Felix Trinidad, once in San Juan. The same cranky fella who made a "cash in a duffel bag" side bet with William Joppy that he'd stop the former middlweight belt-holder, or pay him out 2-to-1. And the mischief took a turn for the comical when Hopkins blew up during the promotion for his bout with Joe Calzaghe, accusing British press of racism. We've come to expect the pre-fight antics from the old man.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
|Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images|
Expectations were high, and eight of the best and/or most promising fighters in two of the deepest divisions in boxing didn't disappoint Saturday night.
What a great night of fights.
Overall, one title was lost in surprising fashion, another title was defended in an expectedly rough tumble, a pair of former title challengers nullified each other to a majority draw, and a former 2-division champ and young star battled to a split decision. We had boxers, sluggers, movers, in-fighting, defensive displays, point deductions, post-fight scuffles. For one night at least, we had it all.
HBO in particular went out with a bang, even though the network ended the year quite early in the month of December and isn't scheduled to air another boxing card for more than a month and a half.
As boxing network rival Showtime staged a divisional tournament between four name fighters, HBO again counter-programmed and put together their own tournament of sorts, matching up junior welterweights Victor Ortiz and Lamont Peterson, and Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana.
In the co-main, Victor Ortiz sleepwalked his way through a number of rounds after seemingly having Lamont Peterson in trouble early, earning a draw. And in the main event, Marcos Maidana survived his own early knockdown in the 1st to crack open a bottle of hell and pour it all over Amir Khan en route to losing a close decision.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
November opened a potential can of worms in terms of action, whetting the appetite of boxing fans that have been long looking forward to the excitement that December may bring.
In a division filled with solid, name fighters, three separate promoters found a way to join forces and stage a tournament between four of the best guys at bantamweight. Not exactly a common occurrence these days, fans have been salivating at the idea of this single-elimination event since it was officially announced mid-September.
Though the Showtime Bantamweight Tournament hasn't been without its own hitches and venue switches, Gary Shaw and Golden Boy Promotions teamed up to headline the telecast with a collision featuring unbeaten rising star Abner Mares and former flyweight and super flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan.
Monday, December 6, 2010
"Remember, remember, the eleventh of December..."
Alright, the old rhyme doesn't exactly go that way. But for boxing fans, it should.
Just under a week away, December 11th may see the awakening of this year's snoozing beast. And Yonnhy Perez, Vic Darchinyan, Joseph Agbeko and Abner Mares are carrying the stick with which to poke it.
Early 2010 was admittedly a less-than-stellar period for boxing in terms of bigger matchups between name fighters. Many bouts fell apart before being finalized, and some anticipated fights fell short of high expectations.
But as with a few other recent calendar years for the sport, the little guys may just make all suffering worthwhile.