In this section of The Sweet Science, we step back and take a critical look at the fights that took place on the previous weekend to create a final wrap-up of all the major boxing events. Follow us every Monday at #MMCatTSS and @TSSboxingnews
We need to talk about Omar Narvaez
Well, maybe I am the one who needs to talk about him.
As an Argentine writer who have defended him countless times against all kinds of aggressions and critiques (some of them more justified than others), I guess it is time for me to join the chorus of those asking for his retirement. And I am not talking about keeping him away from the dangers of the ring, because he has shown clearly that he can take care of that himself by running away while shielding himself from punches just like he did against Zolani Tete this past Saturday.
Granted, the whole thing was a preordained mismatch as the much taller, younger and faster Teté was coming off one of the most devastating stoppage wins in boxing championship history while Narvaez was just barely trying to stay busy in the past year and a half with one inconsequential bout to account for. But a no-show like the one he put together in Belfast in the undercard of the terrific Frampton-Donaire matchup is really inexcusable. His dream of becoming the first Argentine to win titles in three different divisions was the motivation to accept this bout, but the whole thing backfired so badly that this fight may end up being as a future reason to either delay or flat-out deny Narvaez of a place of honor in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, a place in which he still rightfully belongs after a stellar career.
His next step (if any) could make or break his chances of ever getting his name inscribed on the walls of the Canastota shrine. But for his own sake, I’d say it’s time to hang ‘em up and wait for the ballots to decide his fate five years from now. Hopefully, the memories of the defensive wizard that befuddled some of the best fighters in two divisions for almost two decades will outweigh the sad spectacle we witnessed on Saturday.
How did I score the Broner-Vargas thing? Lemme think…
The scorecards say it was a draw. The fans may have their own opinion, however biased and tainted by the likeability of each fighter, their national origins and more. But one thing is clear: if there is one fighter who lives to fight another day, that’s Adrien “The Problem” Broner, who may have earned more respect in his draw against Vargas than what most people are ready to show him.
Here is a piece of no-news: nobody likes Broner. The Cincinnati native worked hard to earn this, with things ranging from his antics outside the ring and his hoots of derision to fans who would not acknowledge his presence properly (“None of you m…..f….ers is gonna clap for me?” asked Broner rhetorically when he entered the weigh-in on Friday to a muted crowd) and more. One would think that any close rounds would be given to whoever was his foe at the moment, especially if the guy across the ring is a squeaky-clean fighter who is in desperate need of a signature win to continue being relevant in the world stage.
But even so, with every fight fan and interested observer happily tipping the scales intentionally in favor of whoever is facing Broner, the bearded bad boy managed to gut out a performance that, in light of the well-earned prejudices against him, sounds very much like a win to me. And if he manages to parlay this no-win into another big-time fight as the A-side on the negotiating table, his victory would be complete.
Where’s the beef now, Abel?
You’ve seen the first video, but not the second one. In the first one, Abel Sanchez taunts Canelo Alvarez by eating a steak in front of the camera and saying something like “Superhuman power requires a special ingredient…and it’s called hard work.” Sick burn, indeed. But what about serving the right beef to your own fighters?
I am talking about former super flyweight titlist Carlos Cuadras, who has recently joined forces with Sanchez and who has run into a bad beef of his own with the mighty WBC for a very unclear, rather shady refusal to be tested for drugs, with suspicions of use of recreational substances involved in the matter. Will we see a Sanchez instructional video on this whole situation? As an eternal optimist, I say let’s wait. But realistically, I’d say Sanchez’s silence on the matter is more than enough to keep this whole thing to backfire on him. Yep, you better keep that beef in the fridge, Abel. Not a bad idea at all.
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