A busy boxing weekend
It was an unusually busy weekend of boxing (at least in the States), in which there were four separate televised cards of different calibers broadcast on Showtime, UniMas, HBO Latino and beIn Sports Espanol. It was highlighted by Danny Jacobs’ first round stoppage of Peter Quillin at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
Here’s a rundown (complete with my random thoughts, of course) of everything that took place…
– Jacobs retained the “regular” version of the WBA middleweight title by halting Quillin in the first round after stunning him with a few well-placed right hands that had “Kid Chocolate” weebling and wobbling but not falling down. But as referee Harvey Dock looked into Quillin’s eyes – and perhaps assessing his body language – he decided to wave off the fight about halfway into the round.
Coming into this fight, I thought the winner wouldn’t be so much who could pitch (as both are good offensive fighters) but who could catch (both have hit the deck and Jacobs has been knocked out) and it turns out the stories you heard in the past of Quillin getting buzzed in the gym during his days training in New York as a young fighter years ago were likely true.
Now, you can debate Dock’s decision all you want. It was a 50/50 call, given that the fight was still in its earliest moments; stakes were pretty high and neither had taken that much punishment. Also Quillin had never actually hit the canvas for all the punches that came his way but his eyes were glazed and, ultimately, a referee’s job is to save a boxer from unnecessary damage and help him fight another day. I know some disagree with Dock’s ruling but it has to be pointed out that Quillin himself seemed to be at peace with the decision.
The consensus is Dock – a very good young referee – made the right call.
– OK, I got this a lot on my Twitter timeline, regarding Dock calling off the action, that there should’ve been a standing eight-count. Folks, most jurisdictions nowadays simply do not have that in place anymore – and haven’t for years. That simply wasn’t an option. And yes, I can certainly see where something like this might have come in handy in Jacobs-Quillin but the argument against the standing eight is that it can actually prolong the beating fighters can suffer by given them unnecessary respites in the action.
But perhaps the Association of Boxing Commissions should revisit this issue.
– I found it rather interesting that the Showtime crew tried to make a case for Jacobs having a more solid resume than Gennady Golovkin based on the Quillin victory. Brian Custer made this point but the problem is if you’re going to go by that, Jacobs’ ledger also includes a knockout loss to Dmitry Pirog – those also matter. Yeah, this just reeked of a corporate/network agenda, something HBO is also guilty of at times.
Thankfully, Al Bernstein was there to lend some real honest perspective to this debate while the rest of the Showtime crew parroted the (Al) Haymon Agenda.
But it’s pretty clear that whomever won this fight was going to be the recipient of this storyline. Jacobs beats Quillin (who’s best known for dumping his WBO belt last year along with a career-high-payday against Matt Korobov) and he suddenly he has a victory superior to anything “GGG” has accomplished. Quillin defeats Jacobs, who won this title against Jarrod Fletcher – who, by the way, was thought to be so overmatched against Golovkin that K2 worked out a deal with the WBA to elevate Golovkin to “super champion” status, which allowed Jacobs to face Fletcher last summer for this belt – and was floored against Sergio Mora in his previous bout and defeated Caleb Truax prior to Mora.
Did I mentioned he was poleaxed by Pirog?
But yeah, if Quillin would’ve pulled this fight off, the Showtime crew – sans Bernstein – would have been waving their “Kid Chocolate” pom poms.
– On the Showtime Extreme portion of the broadcast, Marcus Browne dispatched the plodding Francisco Sierra in four. Physically and technically, Browne – who represented the United States in the 2012 Olympic Games – reminds me a lot of former light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson. Now some of you will think that’s a pejorative but, honestly, if Browne can have the success and kind of career that Dawson has had, will it have been a successful one? As with many other prospects, we still have yet to see how he takes it on the chin. Thus far, however, through 17 fights, so far, so good.
Also on this broadcast was the suddenly fan-friendly Chris Algieri, who battled for 10 rounds versus Erick Bone. With John David Jackson now training him, Algieri is a guy who has no problems being aggressive, fighting off his front foot and sticking his nose into a pile. Now that may not be good in the long run for his handsome face but it’s great for boxing fans. What I’ve seen against Amir Khan and now Bone (whom he outpointed) is the guy I wanted to see against Manny Pacquiao.
His bout against Bone was early on in the evening and it was a solid fight but the crowd at the Barclays Center was rather sparse at that time. I think he’s fought in front of larger crowds at the Paramount Theater in Huntington, NY.
– There was an announced crowd of over 13,000 at the Save Mart Arena in Fresno, Calif., as local product Jose Ramirez remained undefeated by defeating Johnny Garcia, who floored Ramirez in the second. Now who know if this papered up (or, y’ know…FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!) but it looks like Ramirez is already a bona fide attraction in the Central Valley, whose main sports franchise is the Fresno State Bulldogs.
Top Rank Promotions promotes the 2012 U.S. Olympian, who is now 16-0 (12), but really a lot of the credit for this buzz in this region for Ramirez has to go to his manager Rick Mirigian, an individual, as bold as he is audacious, who does much of the groundwork in organizing these events for the young junior welterweight.
Now we know Ramirez has marketability; the question is just how much actual ability does he have? He has improved under the tutelage of Freddie Roach, who lauds his work ethic, but you have to wonder just how high his ceiling is as a fighter. His style and temperament remind me a lot of the “Baby Bull,” Juan Diaz during his prime (a legitimate ticket seller in Houston during his heyday), so it will be key for Ramirez to be in supreme physical condition to be able to chip away at his foes over the long haul.
But yeah, going to Fresno to see a Ramirez fight/event is now on my boxing bucket list.
– Did anyone see the brawl between Moises Fuentes and Francisco Rodriguez on beIN Sports from Baja, Mexico? This was another in a long line of really good fights that this network has carried in the last year or so. These two hard-nosed junior flyweights just kept hurling leather at each other for 12 rounds and didn’t concede much throughout the fight. In the end, Fuentes edged Rodriguez via split decision. It was the best fight of the weekend and one of the better ones of 2015.
BeIn Sports is a must-have for hardcore boxing fans and it frustrates many that they only get the English version. BeIN Sports Espanol has all the boxing.
– We are about, what, six weeks or so from Jan. 16, last I checked, and I see where Showtime ran a graphic trumpeting Deontay Wilder’s next defense of his WBC heavyweight belt. It read,”Deontay Wilder Returns.” Uh, OK, so with this much time till the actual date, no dance partner is set? Just wondering what caliber of opposition can be dialed up at such late notice.
– The first time I saw Christian “Chimpa” Gonzalez, he was getting floored by Julio Sarinara and, quite frankly, struggled for much of this contest before scoring a sixth round TKO. Well, this past Friday night at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, he stopped the usually durable Alejandro Ochoa in two rounds. It was a match-up which was expected to go rounds but, instead, Gonzalez hammered Ochoa to improve to 12-0 (11). Back in March, he looked like a suspect; now, three fights later, he looks like a real prospect. Chimpa has been a pro for just over two years and is just 20 years old.
He’s come a long way in nine months.
So is the Kenny Thurman-Shawn Porter fight happening in February on Showtime?…Rob “Bravo” Brant and Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller are slated to be on “ShoBox” on Jan. 22…Cam Newton is my front-runner for NFL MVP. Yes CaMVP…Uh, seems to me that Clemson got a tougher draw in Oklahoma then Alabama did with Michigan State…Just my opinion: This season is a strong argument for an eight-team college football playoff with teams like Stanford and Notre Dame being left out…Speaking of Stanford, if I had a Heisman vote, it would go to Christian McCaffrey…Alright, Mark Richt, get to work; you have a sleeping giant to awake…Miami versus Wazzu is a good match-up. As a Korean, I’m overjoyed that my ‘Canes are playing in the Hyundai Sun Bowl in beautiful El Paso…I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I tweet (a lot) at twitter.com/steveucnlive. I also share photos of stuff at instagram.com/steveucnlive and can also be found at tsu.co/steveucnlive.