High Gear for Boxing
Boxing actually slipped into a rapidly high gear last week with Austin Trout and company leading a massive 12-bout fight card at Pechanga Casino.
It reminded me of Don King’s marathon sessions back in the day when his Las Vegas fight cards would start at 10 a.m. and end around 1 a.m. They would always have four or five world title fights, which would include several European fighters. It was something to watch. By the time it all ended you would be dizzy from watching boxing. But it was memorable.
Felix Trinidad started on one of those marathon cards. Soon, after knocking out Maurice Blocker in 1993, he would be in the big top from there on. They have those kind of marathon sessions in Mexico all of the time.
The big top re-opens in two weeks with the Floyd Mayweather circus. But first, let’s talk about the fight card in San Diego next week.
While the rest of the world has caught up with women’s boxing, the U.S. continues to lag behind. Next Thursday on Sept. 4, a female flyweight from Tijuana, Mexico named Kenia Enriquez has the main event at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in San Diego.
Enriquez may be the best female flyweight in the world without a world title. That’s something considering there are about 20 world titles for women despite there being far less female boxers than male boxers. The tall flyweight with an easy smile has the whole package: she can bang, move with grace, take a blow and fight with skill.
Opposing Enriquez (11-0, 6 Kos) will be Mexico’s Mayela Perez (11-15-4). Don’t be fooled by Perez’s record. She recently fought Dorely Valente to a draw in Cancun. That’s difficult to do. Most of Perez’s losses were against world champions. But Enriquez, if I’m any judge, has world champion written all over her. She could be Mexico’s next female superstar.
On Saturday, Sept. 6, it’s Broner day. Adrien Broner (28-1, 22 Kos) drops down to junior welterweight to try out Emmanuel Taylor (18-2, 12 Kos). He’s getting home cooking at Cincinnati on the main event. I’m curious to see if the crowds will come. Some of the luster has been removed from Broner’s shine. On the same fight card, Argentina’s concrete breaker Lucas Matthysse (35-3, 33 Kos) faces Mexico’s Roberto Ortiz (31-0-1, 24 Kos). Matthysse’s last fight was a war with John Molina at the StubHub. Ortiz, 28, hasn’t fought any recognizable opposition but now it’s the real deal.
The big week begins on Thursday, Sept. 11 with a heavyweight clash between undefeated Luis Ortiz (21-0, 18 Kos) and Lateef Kayode (20-0, 16 Kos). Cuba’s Ortiz is a legitimate heavyweight who walks into the ring at 230 pounds while Kayode has height but usually weighs around 200 pounds. He’s more a cruiserweight but has been sparring with heavyweights for years. The question with Kayode is, does he have the “Power” to deal with the big boys?
Mayweather day. The Las Vegas resident has owned the month that used to be reserved for Mexican fights because of Mexican Independence day falls on Sept. 16. As long as Mayweather remains undefeated it will be his day. He’ll be fighting Marcos Maidana, the Argentine with the windmill punches and a head shaped like a shoeshine box. Their first encounter was pretty interesting as Maidana took the fight inside and was allowed to pin Mayweather on the ropes. This time the referee is Kenny Bayless, who has never seen a body shot he liked and prefers boxers to fight on the outside. Expect Mayweather to roam free in this excursion.
On the semi-main event Leo Santa Cruz defends the WBC junior featherweight title against Manuel Roman. I’m sure they’ve met before in sparring many times at the Maywood Boxing Club where most of the lighter weights get work. It might be an interesting fight.
Miguel “El Titere” Vazquez defends the IBF lightweight title against Mickey Bey. Vazquez has a bouncy kind of style that’s very un-Mexican. Top Rank sent him to Macau in his last fight probably hoping he would lose, but it didn’t happen. Before that he was pitted against Filipino southpaw Mercito Gesta and he thoroughly defeated him. Vazquez has three losses in his career and two of them were against Canelo and one against Tim “Desert Storm” Bradley. It might be an interesting match with the speedy Bey, who’s best remembered for losing by knockout to John Molina. Speed is a great weapon against Vazquez’s style.
Alfredo “Perro” Angulo returns to the ring but this time at middleweight. Angulo has a two-fight losing streak but losing to Canelo and Erislandy Lara is no embarrassment. The Mexican slugger now trains with Virgil Hunter and though he looked bad against Canelo, the defensive work with the NorCal boxing trainer will pay off. Angulo faces James De La Rosa, who’s itching to prove he belongs with the big moneymakers. Angulo’s power may be too much but we’ll see.
John Molina made a lot of fans with his breathtaking performance against Lucas Matthysse. He showed that his power cannot be overlooked by anyone. He faces former champion Humberto Soto of Mexico, who has been in so many wars you wonder if he has anything left. Soto has an experience factor over Molina but you can’t discount Molina’s blockbuster right hand. He will tag Soto, who was destroyed by Matthysse when they met several years ago. The big question: did Molina lose anything after that nuclear war with Matthysse?
Josesito “Riverside Rocky” Lopez was supposed to take part on the fight card against Shawn Gallegos but we’ll see if the fight takes place. Lopez’s last bout was a knockout win over Aron Martinez at AguasCaliente Casino. Lopez needs to stay busy and has a lot of potential big name opponents in the near future.
Speaking of Riverside boxers, heavyweight Chris Arreola was seen in Las Vegas and recently was operated on for an elbow problem. He’ll be back in the gym soon.
Another Riverside boxer, Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera, said he would be fighting in December on the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez card. No opponent has been named.
Gennady “GGG” Golovkin returns to the ring, but this time to the StubHub Center, home of the most memorable fights of the last decade and still counting. Remarkably, it’s the first time GGG fights in California, though he trains at Big Bear Lake-a mere 80 miles from L.A. Golovkin meets Mexico’s Marco Antonio Rubio. Don’t expect a decision win by either guy. It will be bombs away.
Fast-rising Saul Rodriguez, a junior lightweight from Riverside, awaits word for his next fight. He expects to fight two more times before the year ends. Spectacular knockouts are his specialty and his quality of opposition has been steadily increasing. His sparring partner of late has been Mikey Garcia, who has been the center of conversation relating to potential foes ranging from Yuri Gamboa to Floyd Mayweather.
Prepare yourself for a very busy ending for year 2014.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?