I’m not supposed to see snow outside my window in October. Then again, I’m not supposed to live in a world in which a boxer who looks like Howdy Doody can be a heartthrob and in which a 108-pound man who looks like this (http://tinyurl.com/3wgzhds) can possibly be in competition for the same woman as said heartthrob.
Before we continue, an important addendum to the last sentence: “Allegedly.” There, now I’m in the clear to write whatever I want.
Let’s open up this week’s mini-mailbag, where the (alleged) street fight between (allegedly) Saul “Canelo” Alvarez and (allegedly) Ulises Solis is the (alleged) topic of (alleged) discussion:
You been hearing about this Canelo-Solis stuff? I’m curious for your take on what you think happened, because it doesn’t quite make sense to me. Doesn’t Canelo date supermodels? And if so, are we really supposed to believe he was worried about little “Archie” stealing his woman? Then again, first Team Canelo said the whole thing was just a rumor, and then they clarified that it happened and Canelo was there, but it was his brother who punched Solis’ tooth out. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe for one second that Solis would mistakenly accuse the Irish-looking guy of hitting him if in reality a Mexican-looking guy hit him (since supposedly all of Canelo’s brothers have dark hair). This is just weird. What do you think went down?
You bring up valid points, and in the end, neither guy’s story sounds 100 percent logical, but one of them has to be true (unless this is some very elaborate scam they’re both in on to promote Alvarez’s fight with Kermit Cintron). Playing devil’s advocate in response to your suggestion that Solis would never get Canelo and one of his brothers confused, I suppose it’s possible that another Alvarez beat Solis up and Solis is accusing Saul to (a) get attention and (b) be able to sue for more money. Still, there’s considerably more logic to the notion that Canelo did the deed and, because he has an image and a burgeoning financial empire to protect, he’s using his brother as a human shield.
But you know what? All of this is just wild, uninformed speculation. I wasn’t there and you weren’t there. I’m down with the whole “innocent until proven guilty” philosophy, so let’s wait and see what further information comes to light. In the meantime, I’ll say this much: I have no interest in hearing what anyone with the last name Sulaiman thinks. If this street fight did take place, there was no green belt at stake in it. If Alvarez does jail time, but not enough to affect his boxing schedule and his ability to defend his belt in a timely fashion, then it’s ridiculous to strip him based on some sort of moral grounds. Then again, Alvarez won his title by defeating Matthew Friggin’ Hatton (and, more to the point, by being Mexican and marketable), so why do I care if he gets stripped? He’s not a world champion anyway—at least not in my world. He’s just a contender.
A contender who, for whatever it’s worth, became a lot more interesting in the last few days.
Okay, now let’s get to this week’s (alleged) Rants:
--I love me a good eight-rounder. (Emphasis on the word “good”—we’re not talking about Gary Russell Jr. vs. Leonilo Miranda here. We’re also not talking about anything involving Malik Scott.) In eight-round fights, the combatants typically are not financially comfortable, so there tends to be hunger to win on both sides. In eight-round fights, the combatants tend not to pace themselves as cautiously as they might in a 10-round or 12-round fight. On Friday and Saturday, we saw the best single-weekend cluster of televised eight-rounders that I can remember, with two very good, close bouts on ShoBox and an opener on Fox Sports between Casey Ramos and Josesito Collado that is arguably a Fight of the Year “honorable mention.” At one point during Ramos-Collado, color analyst Rich Marotta said Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo would be proud; praise for an action fight doesn’t get much higher. If you missed it on Saturday night, definitely look around on YouTube for it. (Nobody had posted it yet as of when I filed this column, lest you think my failure to include the link is the result of laziness.)
--The best commentators’ exchange of the weekend came during that first-rate ShoBox show. Curt Menefee: “Are you saying it’s underdog night here on ShoBox?” Steve Farhood: “Every night is underdog night.” Amen.
--I’ve now heard Liev Schreiber speak the words, “He no longer drinks his own urine.” My life feels complete.
--I’m confused: If Luis Concepcion is the Panamanian pugilistic Pauly D, then why was he falling down like a drunken Snooki on Saturday night? I need my Jersey Shore/boxing parallels to align themselves with more consistency than this.
--I am legitimately interested and excited for Tavoris Cloud vs. Zsolt Erdei, something I never thought I’d say about any Zsolt Erdei fight. It’s a quality test for both fighters. And it’s the ultimate test of my undiagnosed narcolepsy. I stay awake until midnight on New Year’s Eve about 15 percent of the time and I stay awake throughout Saturday night boxing about 25 percent of the time. The combined power of these two forces should have me asleep on my couch by 6 p.m. on December 31.
--Perhaps I’ll set up a camera in my living room and charge people to watch a pay-per-view broadcast of me trying to stay awake during Cloud-Erdei. Hey, it can’t sell any worse than Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson.
--If Bob Arum’s goal in trash talking Mayweather is to goad him into fighting Pacquiao, then good for you, Bob. If his goal is place all the blame on Mayweather while Arum proceeds to be equally disinterested in making the fight, then screw you, Bob.
--The first week of the Yuriorkis Gamboa-Emanuel Steward union has gone exceedingly well. Which is to say, Steward hasn’t been fired yet.
--Check out an all-new episode of Ring Theory (http://ringtheory.podbean.com) this week, with BoxingScene columnist David Greisman joining us to share his insights. Here’s hoping Dettloff and I can conduct ourselves with enough professionalism to avoid next week’s roundup of Podcasters Behaving Badly.
Eric Raskin can be contacted at RaskinBoxing@yahoo.com. You can follow him on Twitter @EricRaskin and listen to new episodes of his podcast, Ring Theory, at http://ringtheory.podbean.com.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?