Lou Dibella made a smart point on a Thursday conference call to hype a Sept. 29 tripleheader at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut, which is headlined by his super middleweight contender, Edwin Rodriguez.
Dibella noted that this card, which features the 21-0 Rodriguez meeting Jason Escalera (13-0-1), and 33-0 Zsolt Erdei fighting Isaac Chilemba (19-1-1), and Luis Orlando Del Valle (16-0) fighting Vic Darchinyan (37-5-1), is coming together on HBO's Boxing After Dark because he and promoters Gary Shaw and Joe DeGuardia are working together, not sniping at each other.
I'd like to see this occur all the time, because when promoters see the big picture, and put personal enmity aside, if it exists, so the best fights the fan want to see get made, that grows the pie. Yes, this is a plea for peace; boxing fans have to hope that Manny Pacquiao's promoter, Bob Arum, and Oscar De La Hoya and Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions can come together, and put aside bitterness, so many of those fights that make sense, like a Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather bout, get made. End of rant-for-peace by this Libra...
Rodriguez said on the call that Sept. 29 is a bittersweet day for him, because his twins, Edwin Jr and Serena, were born on that date six years ago, but at 23 weeks. Junior has cerebral palsy, and Serena also deals with a milder case of the disease, but they soldier on.
He promised a "war" Sept. 29 and said he is happy to be back on HBO.
Erdei, through an interpreter, said he is happy to be back in the ring, after a year away. His last bout came on June 4, 2011, a TKO6 win over Byron Mitchell. A New Year's Eve scrap against Tavoris Cloud was scrapped because Erdei suffered a hand injury. Chilemba said he was quite confident that he'd beat the 38 year-old.
Rodriguez then said his March UD10 win over Donovan George showed that he has a variety of skills, and a decent defense, but that he wanted to be exciting in this outing to up his buzz factor. He said he's ready for the top guys at 168, including Kelly Pavlik. DiBella said he'd be happy to work with Top Rank on a Pavlik-Rodriguez fight. This bout made more sense than going to Canada to meet Adonis Stevenson, Rodriguez said. Asked to pick a winner in the Andre Ward-Chad Dawson fight, he said it's a coin flip.
Sparring with Andy Lee, and others at Kronk, including Eddie Chambers, before Lee fought Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was a pleasure, the Massachusetts boxer said. He said it is important to show power, and that he likes KOs, so he'd be happy to finish the fight in that manner.
Del Valle said he is looking to make a splash, and impress fans in his native Puerto Rico. A fight against fellow Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., if he beats Darchinyan, is a distinct possibility, DiBella said. The promoter said he has already discussed this scrap with Vazquez' promoter, Bob Arum. Vazquez first has to deal with Rafael Vazquez in a couple weeks, in a super bantam beef in Puerto Rico. "We're not looking past him," he said of the 36 year-old Vic, who has been on a slide, having lost his last two. He says he isn't thinking that Vic at 122 pounds will be a softie.
Who's the best Mexican boxer today?