We are entering the sexy season for boxing now, fights coming thick and fast.
F*ck the festive season for now, if I see another John Lewis, M&S, Coca Cola advert, my TV is going out the window.
Far too early for me!
Although, I’m still staring at this picture and so are you….
It’s ok…take your time…
Let’s crack on with a look at the past weekends exploits in the ring.
Garcia v Martinez
Mikey Garcia stopped Rocky Martinez in the 8th round in Corpus Christi, Texas on Saturday night.
In doing so, Garcia won the WBO Junior Lightweight title and was the 1st man to knockdown & stop Puerto Rican Martinez in his career. After suffering a knockdown from a flash punch on the button in the 2nd, this served as a shot of espresso to Garcia.
From then on we witnessed the usual high pressure, aggressive streak that we have come to expect from the Californian.
The body shot that crumpled Martinez in the 8th like a screwed up ball of paper, was for me better than Callum Smith’s recent body shot KO. Mikey caught him with an absolute a peach of a left hook to the lower abdomen, you knew the fight was over, no question, Martinez gasped for breath like he was drowning.
Garcia was stripped of his featherweight title in June, when he failed to make weight for a defence against Juan Manuel Lopez. This provided redemption to him and a clear indicator that he should be fighting at a bigger weight.
Next up could be Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa (23-0: 16 KO’s), which would provide a stern test for him. Outside of that match up, there aren’t many fights in this division to whet the appetite.
What Garcia now needs to do is capture the imagination of the rapidly growing fan base he has acquired. Lomachenko v Garcia, for example would be a cracker, they would smash the shit out of each other for however long it lasted. But I would like to see that grow over a few years in to a PPV fight. In reality I can’t imagine Top Rank being so bold making it next year, expect that in 2015/16.
Personally, I’d like to see Garcia move up further, to Lightweight and compete there. Alongside the Brit Pack; Ricky Burns, Kevin Mitchell, Anthony Crolla, Gavin Rees, Luke Campbell, fellow American Terence Crawford (who has been announced as Burn’s WBO mandatory) and Miguel Vasquez.
Donaire v Darchinyan
Nonito Donaire (32-2: 21 KO’s) stopped Vic Darchinyan (39-6: 28 KO’s) on the same card in Texas. Darchinyan wanted to avenge the loss that cost him the IBF flyweight title previously. He was floored twice in the eighth round in a hard earned victory that perhaps, one could argue Darchinyan was leading up until that point. I had Darchinyan leading until then.
Donaire connected on more than half of his power punches. He had surgery on his right shoulder after his most recent fight, a loss by decision to Guillermo Rigondeaux.
“Vic hit me hard and it felt like he broke my jaw earlier in the fight and all I was thinking was, `I’m going to lose,” Donaire said. “But I continued fighting and found an opportunity to land a great shot.”
This is what great fighters do, in the face of adversity they manage to pull something out of the bag to win when on the night, they don’t deserve to it.
For Donaire, he will want to avenge the Rigondeaux defeat naturally next, but I would like to see him face Carl Frampton.
That would be a mouth watering match up; they have both exchanged a few tweets to the tune of meeting in the ring at some point. It would prove to be a big step up in class for Frampton and one that he would have a genuine opportunity of winning.
This isn’t the same Donaire from years gone by, the Donaire who beat Manuel Vargas in 2010.
The Flash looks slightly off pace, probably down to the surgery in the summer, less mobile, an ideal time for Frampton to put himself in the shop window and face a top P4P Super Bantamweight.
Forget Quigg for now or a Martinez rematch, regardless of the IBF title.
Cyclone Promotions, make the call!!
Boxing this week, we have a treat on Thursday night from York Hall with Heavyweight Prizefighter. UK v USA, Ryder Cup style. Michael Sprott the main man for the UK and Hall of Famer James Toney for the Americans.
Always an enjoyable watch these, Toney is an absolute legend in the sport, 3 weight world champion, fought at Middle right through to Heavyweight, avoided by Eubank and Benn in the 90’s, beaten Holyfield, lost to Roy Jones Jr.
My concern for him is at 45 yrs of age, after 88 Fights, “Lights Out” has taken far too many punches, listening to him speak on Ringside was tough viewing to understand the slurred speech. You never want to see anyone hurt in the sport, but he needs to think about calling it a day sooner rather than later, if not for him, for the family.
But Boxing is a like a drug addiction, it’s hard to resist and walk away. Hence why we see so many fighters having comebacks.
Toney was & still is a big character in and outside of the ring, I remember seeing a clip of him on Jonathan Ross via satellite sat next to Mickey Rourke in the mid 90’s. Benn and Eubank were on the show and the trash talking from Toney was superb, Benn bit and had a pipe back, but deep down, he knew his place.
When I first watched this, I actually though it was Kat from Red Dwarf sat there not Benn, absolute spit of him!
I fancy Toney or Sprott to do the business and win the whole thing.
On the same card we have Anthony Joshua’s 3rd outing against Croatian Hrvoje Kisicek, in-between the Semi Finals of the contest, looking forward to the next step forward for The Don.
Moving on to the weekend, we have the long awaited return of P4P number 2 in the World;
Andre “Son of God” Ward, THE man in the 168lb division.
I look at Ward with a small sense of envy, same school year as me, same height, weight.
One of us is a (possible) future P4P Boxing Writer, the other an undefeated World Champion who has faced the very best before he hits 30.
Could have been me….
Ward who relinquished the WBC title in May, over an inability to face a mandatory challenger. SOG cited a shoulder injury, but couldn’t evidence it when challenged by the board, all got very messy.
He faces undefeated Edwin Rodriguez (24-0: 16 KO’s) in Ontario, California on Saturday night. It is an opportunity for Ward to exorcise some demons, and shake off ring rust, having not fought for 14 mths since a 10th round TKO of Chad Dawson.
Ward as we know is an efficient counter puncher, somewhat dull to the mainstream fans, the hardcore contingency appreciates the tactical approach he adopts.
The fact remains, there is no real blue print to defeating him.
Froch tried to trade with him, and was embarrassed in the process. Danced around The Cobra, slipping shots and unloading combos.
For Ward, he is rapidly running out of credible opposition to face. Golovkin should step up to 168 for me and face him, although I would fancy Ward on a decision.
A possible rematch with Froch could be on the cards, should he come through Groves of course, which isn’t guaranteed.
Maybe Adonis Stevenson/Bernard Hopkins at a catchweight?
Time will tell, feel free to leave some comments who you would like to see Ward fight next year??
That is your lot from me.
I’m off to watch “The Gloves Are Off – Middleweights” that I recorded.
Catch you next week.