A fairly compelling little club show took place last Thursday, but I held off on writing about it, knowing everyone would be fixated on the forthcoming Pacquaio/De La Hoya match. (Notice how now we call it the “Pacquiao/De La Hoya” match?).
Bob Duffy put on a card at the Roseland in the theater district, and bless his soul, his matchmaking resulted in a bunch of upsets. I have nothing against Jorge Teron, the NYC kid on the cusp of a 135 title shot, or Nagy Aguilera, or that French kid who allegedly got a $25,000 signing bonus to go pro and got stopped in his first outing…but I love me some upsets.
Teron’s loss, to Aldo Valtierra, threw a king sized monkey wrench into his near-term plans. The 23-year old from the Bronx has been highly touted-—his websites throws out a comparison to Chico Corrales, because Teron is also tall, at 6-0—-and was ranked No. 5 by the WBO. But his crew accepted Altierra, an old guy who’d won just one of his last five bouts. But the old guy, at 38, showed stamina, heart, chin and veteran savvy as he beat Teron (22-1) up on the inside, and snagged a majority decision. I told Teron’s guys to tell their guy to go for the KO in the tenth and final round, as I suspected that the judges might well do their job, and reward the 25-10 Mexican for his performance. To their credit, the arbiters did. Good learning experience for the kid, who didn’t use his reach advantage, and let the old guy dictate the terms of engagement. But you know that look you get on your face when you are watching the lottery balls with the numbers on them on the TV, and they call out 19, and 31, and 42 and all you need is a 56, and a 59 pops up? That was the look on the face of Team Teron after…
A similar look was on the face of Team Aguilera after their boy Nagy Aguilera (10-1; age 22) got himself DQ’d in the second round of his heavyweight bout with ginormous Marcellus Brown, the 40-year-old 7 footer from Michigan. Was it a good idea to put Nagy, who’s listed at 6-3, but looks shorter and is probably better suited to go the Jenny Craig route and be a cruiser, in with the hoopster-sized Brown? Nope, not after the Puerto Rican/New Yorker got frustrated with the Jabbar-ish Brown, and headbutted him in the nose in the second…The Nagy boosters in the crowd--he’s managed by a rich Long Islander named John Silverman--squawked at the stop, but it was a no brainer for Mike Ortega. It was an egregious foul, and there was no way he couldn’t have busted Aguilera, and maintained order if the fight continued. The delightful Silverman Twins, John’s kids, even grudgingly agreed that the call was right. One of the twins wasn’t as keen on the call, but the other one nodded in comprehension when I said the ref had to do it. It will be a good learning experience for Nagy, who snapped when things didn’t go his way, and brought the L on himself. Lou Savarese, by the way, is friends with Silverman and an advisor…
French profanity broke through the din when 1-0 Romain Oliveri, out of Bourdeaux, France, had his tail handed to him by Eliud Torres, debuting. The welters flung leather furiously from the start and the Frenchman, who word was recently collected a $25,000 bonus to go pro, hit the deck three times. On the third trip, the ref said no mas. “Merde!” cried his cousin, who sat next to me, as his boy crashed and burned.
Oh yeah, 31-year-old Daniel Judah and Jaffa Ballagou met in a light heavyweight snoozer. There were some decent moments, but Jaffa, age 40, looked like there were invisible rubber bands attached to his arms. He was slooowww, and Judah got the UD nod after 12. A minor league IBF belt was up for the taking. Judah just doesn’t have enough pop to keep it interesting, sad to say. Iran Barkley was sitting next to me, and he was appalled at the Judah effort. If he thought it was an F, I’d say it was a C. There are times when he’s more effective than half-bro Zab.
Duffy's next show will be on Long Island, on Jan. 23 at the Huntington Hilton. Presumably, he will be refreshed by then, after his 13 bout marathon. "Haha, I wrote 75 checks that night," Duffy told TSS. The promoter explained that the card was so bulky because he put on four fights from a Cedric Kushner show that was scrapped, not because he wanted to set a record for most bouts on a NY club show. He made sure to accomodate the overflow, because he realizes that many of the fighters could use the pay to defray holiday costs. He was pleased, he said, to offer fans a lot of bouts, and glad that the matches were tight. And bonus--he probably broke even or made a couple of bucks. "Sometimes I make money, sometimes I lose, but hey, I got my rent paid, it's all good," said the former NYC detective and athletic commission exec.
SPEEDBAG Lou Dibella was on hand and I picked his brain after he watched his heavy prospect Tor Hamer (2-0), who was on the cover of The Village Voice two weeks ago, pick up the win over Royal Bryant. Dibella said down the line, not too far, he’d like to see Hamer have a crack at Deontay Wilder.
He also said Jermain Taylor would like a crack at the Froch-Psacal winner, which was Froch. First choice would be to lure Joe Calzaghe into a scrap. Dibella wants to see Taylor stay sharp, and fight by the end of March, at the latest. Lucian Bute is a possibility. “Joe’s earned the right to wait,” Dibella said. The promoter also said Paulie Malignaggi will fight again, most likely, but if he doesn’t, he’ll support that too. “That fight against Hatton, that wasn’t Paulie, but he picked the worst moment to have that happen,” he said.
---Also on the rumor mill, and now up on Boxrec. Sergio Martinez (44-1), the 33-year-old Argentine junior middle, will take on 22-year-old NY prospect Joe Greene (20-0) on Jan. 17, underneath Berto-Colazzo at the MSG theater.
---Ex Dibella fighter Sechew Powell (24-2) tries to get back back in the mix on Jan. 14 against TBD at the Hard Rock in Hollywood, FL. I like Powell personally, and wish him well at breaking through in 2009. He gets it that his time to make his mark is dwindling. “It’s now or never, I’m 29,” he told me at Roseland.
---Hand it to Duffy, he tried to give folks their money’s worth. He had 13 bouts on the slate.
---Not sure if the promoter had a hand in it or this was Roseland’s hand, but to charge $15 for a plate of beef stew…even in New York, that constitutes a rip-off. I didn’t indulge.
Who will win #HOPKINSKOVALEV