Saturday, July 21, 2012

Juan Carlos Burgos Chops Up Cesar Vazquez, Aaron Martinez Takes Split Decision Over Prenice Brewer

Photo: Televisa Deportes

In the latest edition of Friday Night Fights, ESPN helped us boxing junkies beat the heat for a couple of hours with a filling four-fight show. 

The broadcast didn't get off to the most pristine of starts as "technical difficulties" delayed the live boxing, so ESPN stalled with rundowns of the upcoming fight cards, boxing news and anecdotes. It should be noted, however, that the addition of Bernardo Osuna to Friday Night Fights this season has been a very welcome one, and listening to him guide the fans through listlessness on-air is far more acceptable than enduring some Johnny-come-lately's attempts to stutter through some news. 

Junior lightweight Juan Carlos Burgos made quick-ish work of Cesar Vazquez in the 10 round main event, though not without having to break a sweat and eat a little leather. And in the co-main, welterweight Aaron Martinez took a split decision over Prenice Brewer in a solid 8 round fight. 

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Andrzej Fonfara Likely Retires Glen Johnson, Jose Luis Castillo Scores TKO Over Ivan Popoca

When Teddy Atlas correctly referred to Chicago as an "old fight town," he probably didn't mean shuffleboard with gloves on. Guys like Tony Canzoneri, Mushy Callahan and Fidel LaBarba fought at Wrigley field in the 1920's, and the Coliseum was for a time a famed boxing venue. 

But mummies and cobwebs looked to be the inhabitants of this week's edition of Friday Night Fights, with two faded former champions competing against younger foes looking to make names for themselves. 

Well, score one for immortality, at least. Jose Luis Castillo actually looked -- wait for it-- somewhat decent in notching a stoppage win over Ivan Popoca. But the other one goes to the hourglass, as Glen Johnson showed glimpses of youthfulness in early and mid rounds, but ultimately succumbed to the physicality and pace of the younger Andrzej Fonfara.  

Thankfully, it was much more watchable than not, and at times even pretty good action-wise. 

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nonito Donaire and Kelly Pavlik Pushed Hard Despite Commanding Decision Wins on HBO

The last few weeks of boxing have served as a sort of prelude to what most expect to be an excellent next few months for the sport. Last weekend's three bout exhibition on Showtime about lived up to expectations, which were understandably low, though Friday Night Fights filled in some gaps with solid action a few weeks in a row.

Still, it would be a nice deviation from the expected course to see a few bigger names sternly tested, wouldn't it? 

Junior featherweight Nonito Donaire and super middleweight Kelly Pavlik did exactly that in battling through moments of struggle to notch unanimous decision wins over foes Jeffrey Mathebula and Will Rosinsky, respectively. 

Much of it wasn't all that aesthetically pleasing, and as usual the HBO commentary was sometimes more hilarious than appropriate, but both fighters succeeded in advancing towards what they insist are longer-term goals of tangling with the absolute top echelon of their divisions. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

From Beyond the Grave - The Black Eye for Boxing

Photo: AFP/Getty Images

"Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson, the rematch, the evening they were selling as the greatest fight of all time, will go down as just another black eye for boxing. No, this time call it a black ear. Make it two black ears. Holyfield will wake up this morning with his title in place, and an earache to remind him of last night's bizarre three rounds. This was a fight that may have grossed $130 million, with a ringside ticket price of $1,500, and a pay-per-view audience that was certainly the largest of all time. The fight was broadcast in 11 languages, including three Chinese dialects. No dialect can accurately describe Tyson's performance."

     - Vic Ziegel, New York Daily News, 1997