Little Big Men – Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras engaged in a terrific super flyweight bout on Saturday, Sept. 10th. The so called little guys of the sport provided for an action-packed entertaining bout that was fought at a very high level. This kind of fight is a big reason why many people, myself included, have been clamoring for more televised exposure for these little big men of boxing.
It would make sense for networks such as HBO and Showtime to invest more in these smaller weight classes. The reasons are relatively simple. There are terrific fighters who make for good fights at these lower weight divisions. As evidenced by the Gonzalez-Cuadras fight, good action-packed fights get fans and the media buzzing. And this means that the next time either of these two fight, more eyeballs will be watching. The cost to the networks is also typically substantially lower than the weight classes typically shown on US television.
The possibilities for good fights are endless. Just glancing at flyweight and super flyweight, several compelling fights can be easily made with a little network support. Naoya Inoue, who was ringside for Gonzalez-Cuadras, would make for a tremendous fight with either Gonzalez or Cuadras. Juan Francisco Estrada, who gave Gonzalez a decent test in an entertaining bout a few years ago, is an aggressive skilled fighter who makes for entertaining fights. John Riel Casimero defended his flyweight title on the Golovkin-Brook undercard and is another talented fun to watch fighter who could make for some compelling fights. This list goes on and on.
As a fan, I want to see good competitive entertaining fights. There are so many tantalizing good fights to be made in the lower weight classes. The networks should take notice of the fan reaction from Gonzalez-Cuadras and hopefully begin tapping into this pool of good fights.
Gennady Golovkin and Daniel Jacobs each successfully defended their middleweight titles this past weekend. Up until this point, politics of the sport has kept a match between the two unlikely. However, even before the WBA obtruded in hopes of forcing Golovkin’s hand, there were signs that the fight may become a reality.
Golovkin is 34 and his desire is to fight fights now. The biggest name out there, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, does not seem anxious to get in the ring with Golokvin for one reason or another in the near future. Other name opponents have feigned interest in Golovkin only to step away when negotiations got a little more serious. The list of potential name opponents is dwindling for Golovkin and his team may have to step outside the traditional box, such as the Brook fight, to find opponents for him.
Jacobs is advised by Al Haymon. Haymon has been banished by HBO which has an exclusive contract with Golovkin. This factor is the primary reason a bout between Jacobs and Golovkin has never been seen as realistic.
However, we could be coming to a point where Haymon and HBO need one another again out of necessity. HBO needs fresh opponents for some of its fighters, including Golovkin. Haymon certainly has the stable of opponents. And Haymon may need HBO for its platform as several PBC deals will soon be expiring with the future uncertain as of this moment.
Jacobs is exactly the type of opponent that HBO and Golovkin would want at this time. Jacobs is a young power puncher with a belt and on a winning streak with a name fight fans recognize. Haymon knows this and also knows he needs to bring something big to the table to get HBO to consider talking to him. In addition, Golovkin showed some vulnerabilities on Saturday against Brook. Haymon as well as Jacobs could see this as a big opportunity to take down a star and create a new one in this sport.
Given the current landscape with Golovkin, HBO would probably listen if Haymon presented Jacobs as a potential opponent. The timing seems right and we could realistically see this bout happen in the very near future.
HBO Turned Back the Clock
On Saturday night, HBO broadcast the rematch between Yoshihiro Kamegai and Jesus Soto Karass. They certainly are not two of the best fighters at junior middleweight but the styles all but guaranteed an action-packed fight. It was really the sort of bout that HBO broadcast quite a bit of in the 90’s with the “Boxing after Dark” series that became such a hit with fans.
HBO would be wise to continue the momentum from Kamegai-Soto Karass II. If it is a good enticing matchup, the fans will tune in even if the fighters are not highly rated. And there are many of these matches that can potentially be made.
I have compiled a quick list of makeable action fights that HBO can easily pick up. At light heavyweight, a match between Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Sean Monaghan would be competitive as well as entertaining. They are both undefeated with crowd pleasing styles.
Heading down to junior middleweight, a fight between Pablo Cesar Cano and Jesus Soto Karass would be a war. Both come forward throwing and exhibit little defense. This would be a true shootout.
Finally, Cesar Juarez versus Robinson Castellanos in a battle of featherweights. This would be a must-win crossroads fight for both and the styles of the two could not produce anything but all-out action.
Those are just three examples of fights that HBO could easily make that would produce fireworks for the fans. These are the type of bouts and fighters that once made “Boxing after Dark” so popular. HBO would be wise to turn the clock back and start making these types of fights the fans want to see.