Once again, it was a busy weekend of boxing with significant cards taking place across the globe on various platforms. Here are some random thoughts and opinions on what transpired…
– What else is there to say about another mediocre and lackluster outing for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who trudged his way through a 10-round decision over Marcos Reyes? Nowadays, he needs about a 25-pound weight advantage just to defeat middleweight journeymen. No official weight was announced on Saturday evening but, just eye-balling it, he looked to be in the 190s (at least), significantly heavier than Reyes.
There is a sense of entitlement to him that leaves him more clueless than Alicia Silverstone as “Cher” Horowitz. He just doesn’t get it and, quite frankly, never will. There’s a saying about guys like him: He was born on third base but he thinks he hit a triple.
Chavez was never the most naturally talented fighter but based on his family lineage (and favorable matchmaking from Top Rank Promotions), he was still able to parlay that into professional and promotional success – with a good amount of enabling but now it’s gotten to a point in which Chavez is allowed to box in an alternate universe where rules don’t see to apply to him and there is an implicit understanding from everyone involved in this venture that there simply is no place for truth or reality.
– Speaking of which, Robert Garcia – the latest trainer to be employed by JuLOLio – stated that the hotel scale they used to weigh Chavez had them on weight (which was changed on the contract from the super middleweight limit to 170, at some juncture). Uhhh…yeah, OK, the problem is that – outside of Chavez’s track record, of course – most commissions/promoters will allow you to use the official scale that will be used for the weigh-in to monitor what a boxer is weighing beforehand.
I still remember the fight hotel in Puerto Rico last April for the Rocky Martinez-Orlando Salido fight in which the fitness center had a hand-written sign on the scale which read, “This is the official scale that will be used for the weigh-in,” and, as I worked on the elliptical machine, I’d see various boxers and their trainers shake out a bit before using the scale.
But what is troublesome to many others is Garcia has a rather long track record of boxers coming in overweight. My question is: Does the Robert Garcia Boxing Academy have a scale?
Regardless, the alibis from Garcia are an example of what you sign up for when you take the assignment of training Chavez. You get paid extremely well but it comes at a certain price – your integrity – because this gig means a lot of excuse making, lying, covering up and saying just about anything on Chavez’s behalf. This past weekend, Garcia discovered this, just like Joe Goossen and Freddie Roach before him.
As Cliff Rold said on Twitter on Saturday night, “This is a gravy train with actual gravy.”
And you might as well get on it while the going is good.
– It was about this time last year when Chavez was supposed to fight Gennady Golovkin before he went into litigation with Top Rank and signed with Al Haymon. Just my opinion but if that fight would have come to fruition, at any weight, that would been like a pinata getting beaten by a baseball bat – with no blindfolds involved. Yeah, size matters but really the only skill Chavez has at this juncture is still being the son of the legendary “JC Superstar” and the ability to soak up punishment.
– Chavez was supposed to be one of the anchors of Haymon and, by extension, Premier Boxing Champions but, thus far, he and Adrien Broner – thought to be one of the other pillars coming into 2015 – have been busts. Word is that even Haymon has had it up to here with Chavez’s antics and you have to wonder if he will soon just cash him out versus the likes of Adonis Stevenson or someone of that ilk.
By the way, he didn’t post his paycheck from Haymon on Instagram this time; did he?
– This past weekend, Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton – two standout 122-pounders from the UK, who have been circling each other for a few years – couldn’t have been further apart, not just from a geographic standpoint but symbolically.
Quigg, fighting in his home region at the Manchester Arena, made quite the statement in blowing out the otherwise sturdy Kiko Martinez in two rounds. Meanwhile, in the Irish hotbed of El Paso, Texas, reigning IBF junior featherweight champion Carl Frampton, was sent to the canvas twice by the young Alejandro Gonzalez Jr. in shocking fashion. Frampton eventually steadied himself, worked behind a sharp jab and subdued Gonzalez over 12 rounds. It wasn’t quite the debut he wanted to make to the American audience watching on CBS (for FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!).
That said, it’s time for Quigg and Frampton – who, I’ve stated many times before, could be the UK version of Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales – to finally meet. Both have major belts (Quigg has a version of the WBA strap in his possession); both are undefeated and both have legitimate fan-bases. This is the type of fight that has a great chance to develop into a true rivalry, helps sustain the business and create new fans.
But again, you have differing factions with clashing agendas hindering the process. Yeah, sounds familiar; doesn’t it?. But Eddie Hearn and Barry McGuigan need to get off their arses (as they say in that part of the world) and get this fight done.
– Coming into the weekend, Chris Arreola was thought to be in line to face Deontay Wilder, the reigning WBC heavyweight champion – on Sept. 26. But with his draw against Fred Kassi, that seems to be in jeopardy. He even admitted he didn’t deserve that opportunity based on his outing (not that that will stop it from happening).
But what’s alarming for “The Nightmare,” who’s never been the most spartan athlete, is, for this particular fight, he was – at least by his rather low standards – in pretty good physical condition. Arreola weighed in at around 246 pounds but what was evident is that his reflexes and reaction time are very dulled. As they say in the gym,”He can’t get out of the way anymore.”
While he may have finally decided to take his fitness seriously after years of undisciplined behavior and slovenly habits, his body may simply be at a point of no return.
– There was a good, solid edition of “ShoBox” on Friday from the Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Penn., that saw a favored prospect, Jerry Odom, get knocked out. Another, Adam Lopez (who batted the game Eliecer Aquino) had a real fight. A new player in Arif Magomedov (who dominated Derrick Webster) emerged and a young fighter, Antoine Douglas, shined in a way that made you think he’s ready for bigger and better things.
This was a classic Gordon Hall ShoBox, one in which you saw some rising talent in real fights.
I don’t think it’s just a coincidence that this series – which has been one of the great launching pads for future champions since 2001 – is much better when it’s not under the auspices of TMT or Al Haymon, who feature one suspect after another in obvious mismatches, time and time again.
– Speaking of Magomedov, who improved to 16-0 (9), he looks to be the next in the robust Russian pipeline and another fighter like Sergey Kovalev, who is promoted by Main Events and managed by Egis Klimas. Klimas, who, in my opinion, should’ve been the 2014 “Manager of the Year,” has a very strong stable that is often overlooked. In addition to the “Krusher,” he has Vasyl Lomochenko (the current WBO featherweight titlist), Evgeny Gradovich (who recently held the IBF 126-pound belt) and other talented young fighters like Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
– Nonito Donaire had a lay-up in Macau, China and he did what he was supposed to in dispatching Anthony Settoul in two short rounds. A fight with Quigg has been in the hopper for awhile and I think it would be one of the more intriguing fights in the second half of 2015. You have Quigg, a young fighter looking for a big-name scalp, and Donaire trying to regain his mojo as a marquee fighter.
It wasn’t that long ago when the “Filipino Flash” was considered one of the game’s best and regular fighters on HBO. Nowadays he’s been shipped to Asia to fill out Bob Arum’s cards in Macau. A victory over a guy like Quigg would mark his return to the elite.
I give the Showtime crew credit (specifically Al Bernstein) for being as critical as they could be of Chavez and his performance…Amir Imam can fight a bit and he’s certainly outspoken, calling out certain fighters for being paper champions…Danny Garcia reacted to Imam’s statements on Twitter to disastrous results…So when will they announce the date and venue for Miguel Cotto-Canelo Alvarez?…Mike Trout isn’t bad at this baseball thing…Did it actually rain in Southern California in mid-July?!…I like the ‘Canes new football unis. For the first time in my life, I will buy some Adidas gear…I can be reached at email@example.com 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.