For The Fancy: Boxing Update 1 July 2012
I’ve never really been one for curses. Whether it’s opening umbrellas indoors, black cats or opening umbrellas in black cats, I generally thumb my nose at that whole deal.
If chance or fate were to strike me down, it would be for my socially unacceptable behaviour and general misdeeds.
That is, I’m not superstitious, although sometimes things happen that makes me more than a little 'stitious'.
One of these cases is the seemingly damned Saul Alvarez fight on September 15th. WBC Light Middleweight champion “Canelo”, is now one of the best fighters at 154 pounds and one of the biggest draws in the sport. At only 21 years old, the world is seemingly his oyster.
Furthermore, he had originally signed one of the most mouthwatering fights in the game with a September 15th bout against much-avoided three division terror Paul Williams, until Williams was paralysed in a horrific motorcycle accident two weeks later.
Following this tragedy, heavy-handed contender James Kirkland stepped in, then out again after contractual disputes.
On the periphery, middleweight supremo and pounder for pounder Sergio Martinez signed to fight Julio Cesar Chavez in a highly anticipated clash on, you guessed it, September 15th.
Now, with the boxing public due to be split in two, former two division champion Victor Ortiz inked his name for the Alvarez bout in a move that would see “Canelo” face a smaller fighter with a bigger name. That is, until Ortiz has his jaw broken in his upset stoppage loss to Josepito Lopez in Lopez’s first venture north to 147.
Many names have bounced around, including Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, IBF champ Cornelius Bundrage and WBA belt holder Austin Trout. However, Cotto has taken his name out of the hat, Alvarez is avoiding Lara like the plague and Trout doesn’t bring nearly enough to the table.
The latest is that this card will no longer be a pay-per-view event - with Bundrage the front runner.
Whisperings round the ring post point to Floyd Mayweather Jr fighting Miguel Cotto for a second time on December 1st. Mayweather, currently incarcerated for domestic assault, started his 87-day sentence on June 1st, which means he will be released in September.
Cotto gave Mayweather the toughest fight of his career in May and, although Mayweather won comfortably on the cards, it was an exciting fight and much closer than the judges scored it.
Steve “Chur” Heremaia (18-6, 9 KOs) bludgeoned his way to capturing the WBO Oriental Middleweight title with a first round stoppage over “Lightning” Lee Oti (17-12, 8 KOs) at the Auckland Boxing Association on Friday.
The third bout between these two was nowhere near as close as its predecessors, as Heremaia winged his much vaunted overhand right with abandon until Oti had tasted the canvas three times for the TKO win.
NZNBF Heavyweight champion Chauncey “The Hillyard Hammer” (53-7-5, 20 KOs) suffered a major setback in his world title bid after dropping a majority decision to vet Sherman “Tank” Williams (36-1-2, 19 KOs) at the Grand Waldo Conference & Exhibition Centre in Macau, China on Sunday (NZ time).
Welliver, ranked fifth in the world by the WBC, and eighth by the WBO until the loss, was being considered as a future contender for one of the Klitschko’s. However, this result will see him slip way back in the rankings.
The scores were 115-112, 119-110 and 114-114.
The Week Ahead
Of course, all eyes will be on the Shane “The Mountain Warrior” Cameron – Monte “Two Gunz” Barrett bout this Thursday at the Sky City Casino.
Cameron (28-2, 21 KOs), who has had reasonable success campaigning as a cruiserweight, makes his return to the heavy ranks to take on the conqueror of his conqueror.
Barrett (35-9, 20 KOs), is a former world title challenger who dropped David Tua in a draw that he clearly deserved, only to be dropped himself in gaining a decision over Tua last August.
The card also features the professional debut of heavyweight Joseph Parker - one of the most acclaimed amateurs in New Zealand boxing history.
He takes on the 2-1 (2 KOs) Dean Garmonsway, who most recently dropped a four round majority decision to former SBW opponent Clarence Tillman.
IBF 154 pound titlist Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (32-4, 19 KOs) stopped former champ Cory “The Next Generation” Spinks (39-7, 11 KOs) in the seventh round at the Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California.
Bundrage started fast, dropping Spinks with a right hand in the opening stanza, but he seemed to fall in love with his own power early and the fight became sloppy. Three knock-downs in the seventh round saw the referee call a halt to the contest.
With the knockout win, Bundrage almost repeated his previous bout with Spinks: finishing in a fifth-round stoppage in 2010. As previously noted, the result also marks him as the front-runner to face WBC champion Saul Alvarez on September 15th
On the undercard, top ranked junior middleweight Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11 KOs) had to dig deep in order to gain a unanimous judges' nod over Freddy Hernandez (30-3, 20 KOs).
Throughout the bout, southpaw Lara clearly won all the exchanges as he fired off right hooks and left hands.
Hernandez had some success to the body, yet Lara was always going to be a class above.
Lara, one of the most avoided fighters in the division following his bout with Paul Williams (in which he was mugged by the judges), just can’t seem to get the big fight he is angling for. He clearly sits on the too-much-risk-for-too-little-reward side of the spectrum, and the only way to remedy this is to continue to win impressively in order to raise his profile. Paradoxically, showing technical flaws or weaknesses would make him a lot more of an attractive opponent.
The Week Ahead
WBA, WBO & IBF Heavyweight champion Wladimir “Dr Steelhammer” Klitschko (57-3, 50 KOs) rematches Tony “The Tiger” Thompson (36-2, 24 KOs) in Berne, Switzerland.
Klitschko, undefeated since 2004, has established himself as the number one heavyweight in the world today and already owns an 11th round knockout win over Thompson in 2008.
Since that loss, Thompson has won five straight bouts; all by knockout, against top tier opposition.
Bantamweight champions collide this Sunday (NZ time) as Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire (28-1, 18 KOs) pits his WBO strap against Jeffrey Mathebula’s (26-3-2, 14 KOs) IBF crown at the Home Depot Centre in Carson, California.
Many are picking Donaire to be the next Pacquiao as he has already climbed up four divisions and has became an 'excitement-machine'.
South African Mathebula captured the IBF title in his last bout against Takalani Ndlovu, which avenged a 2010 split decision loss.
Craig Bailey is NZFighter’s senior writer in the fields of boxing and mma. All local promoters wanting to give their fighters much needed coverage and exposure should contact NZFighters.