Boxing Fans: Next Weekend Has to Be Better...Right?
To be fair, we had this coming.
Boxing fans had been spoiled for the last several months.
Great action in the Super Six, Pacquiao and Mayweather, both showing why they are the best on the planet, solid fights on HBO and ESPN week after week.
The letdown was inevitable, and it came in the form of a very strange ending to the Kermit Cintron-Paul Williams fight.
For those who haven't seen the fight yet, don't bother.
After a full three round feeling out process, the action had just started to heat up in the fourth when the two men got tangled up, and Cintron (32-3-1, 28 KO) tripped through the ropes and out of the ring.
What at first seemed fairly harmless apparently wasn't, and the ringside doctor decided to stop the fight.
I'm not going to get into what was going on in Cintron's mind during the whole fiasco, because I have no idea.
One thing is for certain though, fans expecting a good night of action were left with basically nothing.
California rules state that once the bell has rung to start Round Four, a fight ending on on accidental foul (or tumble out of the ring, as it happens) goes to the scorecards.
Williams (39-1-0, 27 KO) got a split technical decision without breaking a sweat.
Cintron has a loss on his record through no fault of his own, and fans got time taken from their lives that they won't ever get back.
It would have been easier to swallow with a better episode of Friday Night Fights the evening before, but that was a little disappointing as well.
Cuban prospect Yourdanis Despaigne, (6-0-0, 4 KO) coasted to a unanimous decision victory with a bored look in his eyes that you don't usually see until a guy has beaten up at least a dozen tomato cans.
His extensive amateur background puts him in a weird position where he is too good to be fighting record-padding opponents but not established enough to earn a title shot.
The highlight of the program was a Teddy Atlas rant about steroids where he mentioned that he would like his fighter, Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin (19-0-0, 14 KO) to have Mayweather-esque drug testing requirements for every opponent he faces.
I fully support any effort to clean up the sport, but watch out Teddy, the Klitschkos should be suing for defamation of character any day now.
Hopefully though, we can wash the bad taste of all this out of our mouths this weekend.
ESPN and Showtime both have something going on Friday.
Shobox in particular should be interesting as unbeaten Ukrainian Light Middleweight Champion Sergiy Dzinziruk (36-0-0, 22 KO) will compete in the United States for the first time.
The big HBO card on Saturday looks especially promising.
First, Victor Ortiz and Nate Campbell have an interesting age vs. youth battle.
Campbell (33-5-1, 25 KO) is one of those guys that just refuses to go away, while Ortiz (26-2-1, 21 KO) has a lot to prove after being forced into submission by Marcos Maidana last June.
The main event is very interesting.
Young Light Welterweight Champion Amir Khan (22-1-0, 16 KO) comes across the pond from the U.K. to defend his title against the always colorful Paulie Malignaggi (27-3-0, 5 KO) of Brooklyn.
Expect some good action as Paulie tries to entertain the hometown fans at Madison Square Garden.
While Khan is certainly the favorite in most experts eyes, I see him has an unproven fighter at this point and definitely think this bout could go either way.
If Golden Boy Promotions gets their way, Khan and Ortiz both win and set up a big fight between the stable's two young studs.
I have just one slight problem with this whole plan.
Remember Maidana, the guy that stopped Ortiz last year?
Well, that fight was for the interim WBA Light Welterweight title. Of course, that means Maidana should have gotten a shot at the title which is held by, you guessed it, Amir Khan.
However, the situation was seemingly swept under the rug by Khan's team, including trainer Freddy Roach, who don't want him anywhere near a puncher like Maidana.
Probably a smart move considering that he was KO'd in the first round in his only loss.
So, Golden Boy apparently has gotten the WBA to play ball and will set up a fairly bogus title fight between Khan and Ortiz if they can.
Oh boxing, we love you, but why must you treat us this way?
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