Saturday, August 25, 2012

Randy Caballero Outclasses Manuel Roman, Perez Survives Maldonado

Photo: Omar Ornelas/The Desert Sun

Showtime's prospect-oriented series ShoBox made a good faith attempt to pair young men on the way up this weekend from Fantasy Springs Resort and Casino in Indio, CA, a veritable hotbed of very solid fighters that seem to sprout up from nowhere in the middle of the blazing desert. 

The effort was appreciated, but the results weren't much to shake a stick at, thus proving that sometimes competitive bouts on paper just don't add up to much in terms of entertainment in reality. 

In the main event, bantamweight Manuel Roman dominated Randy Caballero en route to a high energy, low yield decision win that seemed to define excelling at mediocrity, while Michael Perez and Fidel Maldonado, Jr. briefly bottled some gripping action, leading to a split decision for the former, who hit the deck late. 

As is often the case when fighters are unwilling to unhinge the leather, only a handful of 20 rounds were legitimately gripping, but it was a step away from showcasing names who had far outgrown the ShoBox format. And that's a good thing. 

Click Here to Read the Rest on

From Beyond the Grave - The Weight of Gold

Photo: FPG/Getty Images

"...And then I come home with the Olympic gold medal and the lightheavy weight championship of the whole world representing my country, America. Coming back to this city called Louisville, Kentucky, where I was born and raised. And then go to a restaurant and can't get served. I did this a lot of times. In the not summertime I'd go in an open door for a glass of juice, and they'd say, 'Can't serve you here, darkey.' I went in one place and asked to be served and the waiter told the boss, 'He's the Olympic champion,' and the boss said, 'I don't give a damn who he is, get him the Hell out of here.'"

     - Cassius Clay, St. Albans Daily Messenger, 1967

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Darley Perez Squeeks By Mamadjonov, Avalos Triumphant

Photo: Thompson Boxing

Good action traced the dusky landscape of Cabazon, Ca. this evening, as this week's Friday Night Fights from Morongo Casino showcased three unbeaten fighters coming for more than a paycheck. 

At the end of the night, Colombian lightweight Darley Perez stood victorious over Uzbekistan native Bahodir Mamadjonov, and habitually entertaining junior featherweight Chris Avalos was made to work for a solid win over Yenifel Vicente over 20 total rounds of milling in which two of three men lost the right to be called "undefeated."

It wasn't all Larry Holmes-Ken Norton type of stuff, but it wasn't all John Ruiz-Hasim Rahman nonsense either, and each of the four fighters on the televised card came to win. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Podium Awaits

Photo: APF/Getty Images

Cruising into the guts of Olympic boxing this year, many of us boxing fans still feel foggy-headed as to whether or not we're supposed to care, and if we are, why. 

The numbers are in, though, and overall interest in this year's Summer Olympics is up significantly compared to the last few, and at least a portion of that extra attention has been paid to the boxing branch. 

Over the last half-decade, boxing seems to have closed the technological gap between it and better organized sports, and especially in terms of social media. And given this year's Games' "Twitter Olympics" nickname, perhaps boxing fans have simply been able to keep up with the goings on in London much better than in the past; it probably doesn't hurt that boxing isn't only being shown at late-as-hell o'clock in the U.S., but more schedule friendly afternoon and evening times. 

Despite the apparent divergence of amateur/Olympic and professional boxing in recent years, pundits still scout the Games for the next potential star or fight celebrity in the international talent pool. For many fighters, the opportunity to slingshot their way to stardom on the back of an Olympic medal is the ultimate, more long-term goal. 

But to every Olympic athlete, the podium is the immediate end.