Nick Cannon on the speed bag
"World Champions Made In America" is the name of the super middleweight championship title fight of Andre Ward defending his WBA and WBC titles against WBC light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson which is taking place this Saturday in the backyard of Ward's Oakland hometown.
Unfortunately, even the name of this fight, "World Champions Made In America," desperately attempts to recapture the interest of middle America for boxing.
If Dawson and Ward both held hands and walked down any large shopping mall in middle of America, most average Americans would not even know who the hell these two dudes are holding hands with one another.
Ward is undefeated and the 2011 Fighter of The Year awarded by the RING magazine.
He has defeated most of the top super middleweight elite in the Showtime Super Six Classic Tournament, including Kessler, Froch and Abraham.
So, ask yourself. Why is Andre Ward not a household name yet?
There maybe several reasons why (outside of the Bay Area of California and real boxing fans) most do not care or do not even know who he is, but all the pre-fight buildup to this Saturday's fight against Chad Dawson would suggest that we are in for a major snoozefest and letdown when these two touch gloves inside the ring.
Style-wise both champions are more technical fighters who rely on their ring generalship and tend to break down and outbox their opponents rather than putting them away or destroying them.
Neither fighter possesses true damaging knockout power, and their KO percentages reflect that.
Chad Dawson's best impressive fight was against a then-undefeated Tomasz Adamek who Dawson outboxed for 12 rounds and even got up off the canvas to win a unanimous decision.
Dawson's win against Adamek became more and more impressive as Tomasz kept going up in weight class and kept beating top heavyweights.
Dawson has pretty much cleaned out the light heavyweight division, defeating many of the older champions on their way out of the sport, making him the lineal light heavyweight champion of the world.
The problem Dawson has always had was being consistent. Much of his inconsistent performances were due to his out-of-the-ring distractions which he has recently resolved by thinning down his entourage to only the most essential trustworthy individuals in his corner.
Ward, on the other hand, has been consistent and his best performance to date was his last fight against Carl Froch where he easily outboxed and even outclassed the WBC champion with a broken hand.
It seemed the speed was just too much for Froch for Ward was beating him to the punch throughout their fight.
The clear advantages on Saturday night will go in Ward's favor. He has the hometown advantage, he is making Dawson come down from 175 lbs to 168 lbs, and if you understand the business, politics of the sport of boxing, and even HBO, you can even argue all of those factors are in Ward's favor as well.
Dawson has his height and reach advantages. Two inches taller than and a reach of six inches longer over Ward as well, but the superior speed and aggression of Ward should prove to be too much for a weight drained Dawson.
If you have seen the face-off video between Ward and Dawson (minus Max Kellerman), you probably saw that for some reason, Ward seemed to be the one doing Kellerman's part in interviewing and conducting their faceoff?
Ward seemed to be the one in control and even trying to promote the fight and get it hyped, but overall, both fighters were rather respectful of one another and even just plain dull.
Their Kellerman-less faceoff failed miserably to generate any kind of interest in the fight among casual fight fans who might have came across it.
Their faceoff was uninteresting, but their 24/7 episode was even worse.
Probably, the best thing about their 24/7 episode was the fact that Ward's 2011 Trainer of the Year Virgil Hunter got some love and camera time.
Hunter has the character and personality to be on camera and to tell an intriguing story for the fans, but not everyone has those qualities in them. Not everyone should get their own reality show even if it is for one episode to hype a fight.
If you thought the Ward/Dawson faceoff and 24/7 episode was bad, then chances are the fight will be just as uneventful as well.
Again, style-wise, when these two fighters mix it up, it will most likely only be appreciated by the smaller population of hard-core boxing fans who know what is going on and how to properly score rounds.
The lack of bad blood and even interest from either fighter also will most likely present a glorified sparring session in the ring Saturday night.
When you title fights like "World Champions Made In America," you are basically saying, "hey America watch this fight." But, the disappointing brutally honest truth is this fight will most likely not be the one that would win over America and make either of these fighters a household name in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Probably the most exciting thing about this fight is the fact that actor/comedian/host/Mariah Carey 401K celebrity Nick Cannon will be debuting as a ring announcer for the fight.
I am actually a fan of Nick Cannon, believe it or not. Cannon has come a long way and worked very hard in his career and obtained such impressive success at such a young age.
We often see Cannon sitting ringside at the big fights with wife Mariah Carey, and I always get inspired by seeing young successful people doing big things.
I think he will do a great job as the ring announcer Saturday night, and it may even be the highlight of that fight.
If Cannon can bring in a new demographic audience to my favorite sport, especially during a fight that will most likely fall flat, then he deserves to have his hand raised Saturday night.
Look fight fans, I love boxing. I want it back, and as hot as it once was in the great USA, like it was in the '90s and '80s, but until we have some real world-champion superstars made in America as the fight name suggests, that won't happen.
I could be wrong about Saturday; I actually wish I am wrong, but given both of these fighters' past history and fight styles, it looks like I won't be.
Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko will be defending his belts against undefeated contender Manuel Charr, and also, WBC lightweight champion Antonio DeMarco will be putting it all on the line against John Molina all also on HBO Saturday.
Vitali is always entertaining to watch as he often dominates his much smaller opponents in a one-sided, beat-down fashion.
DeMarco vs. Molina will most likely be the fight of the night and possibly a fight of the year candidate, and the real reason for tuning into HBO World Championship Boxing Saturday night.
Follow on Twitter: @KingJ323