Weekend Review: Green’s so-so night
Allan Green: The super middleweight contender got the job done against late-replacement Tarvis Simms on Friday on Showtime, winning a one-sided unanimous decision. However, he undoubtedly would’ve liked to demonstrate he belongs in the Super Six 168-pound tournament. He didn’t really do that. Simms, a southpaw, is a pretty good fighter. And it should be pointed out that Green had been preparing for orthodox slugger Victor Oganov until the Russian was injured and had to pull out. Still, most of us expected Green to look better than he did. Maybe he just had a difficult time getting up for a relatively meaningless fight. That happens. And, as the TV announcers said, maybe the elite super middleweights will be more eager to face him after the so-so performance.
Manny Pacquiao: Let there be no doubt that the pound-for-pound king cares deeply about his people. Pacquiao left his training camp — against trainer Freddie Roach’s wishes — and traveled by car about 150 miles (250 kilometers) south to Manila to help with relief efforts after his country was hit by a typhoon. Roach was afraid Pacquiao would become stranded somewhere during the trip. Adviser Mike Koncz also expressed his concern. Pacquiao’s response, according to The Philippine Star? “Don’t worry, Mike. I’m with God.” Pacquiao reportedly will leave the Philippines for Los Angeles on Oct. 24, giving him three weeks in the U.S. before he meets Miguel Cotto on Nov. 14 in Las Vegas.
Robert Guerrero’s contract situation: Guerrero thought he was finished with former promoter Goossen Tutor when an arbitrator ruled that he was no longer bound to that promotional firm. However, a judge on Tuesday vacated the decision, leaving Guerrero’s status up in the air. GTP claims it has the rights to the junior lightweight titleholder, as does Golden Boy Promotions. GTP undoubtedly will take further steps to ensure that Guerrero and Co. abide by their interpretation of the judge’s decision. Meanwhile, Team Guerrero seems to be confident that things will work out in its favor. Stay tuned.
David Tua: I have no idea whether the former heavyweight contender can regain the form that once made him one of the most-feared heavyweights on the planet. However, his second-round knockout of fellow Kiwi Shane Cameron on Saturday in New Zealand — his first fight in two years — adds an interesting element to a weak division. Tua’s only 36, he weighed in at less than he did in many of his most-significant fights and he showed his old power against Cameron. He’ll need a few more victories to be taken seriously, though. Cameron is no test. And he hasn’t been in a meaningful fight since 2003. Let’s hope he still has it.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. on Cotto-Pacquiao card: Chavez doesn’t figure to receive a serious test when he fights journeyman Troy Rowland in a 10-round junior middleweight bout on Nov. 14 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. However, it’s an important fight for him because it’s on the Miguel Cotto-Manny Pacquiao undercard and will be seen worldwide. It will give a broad spectrum of fans the opportunity to see whether Chavez is developing into a legitimate contender or still riding his father’s name to good-sized paydays. This isn’t the big fight he’s been craving but it’s the next best thing. I suspect Junior will be supremely motivated and look good.
Audley Harrison: The British heavyweight was an exciting prospect after he won the super heavyweight gold medal at the 2000 Olympics but more or less flopped as a pro, losing to the likes of Danny Williams, Dominick Guinn, Michael Sprott and Martin Rogan. He hasn’t given up, though, even at 37. And, finally, he has something to show for his perseverance. Harrison won the made-for-television tournament Prizefighter by winning three scheduled three-round fights on Friday in London. OK, he didn’t exactly win the undisputed heavyweight championship. He did demonstrate that he has plenty of fight left in him. Let’s hope this leads to bigger things.
Hall of Fame voting: The Boxing Writer’s Associated of America sent out bios of 42 2009 International Boxing Hall of Fame nominees. A quick glance is enough to determine this will be an extremely difficult task. I would say more than half of them are legitimate candidates. For example, seven (Tiger Jack Fox, Ceferino Garcia, Cocoa Kid, Tippy Larkin, Jose Legra, Gustave Roth and Ken Overlin) won more than 100 fights. Today, very few boxers have 100 fights. However, the name that jumped out at me was Donald Curry. He didn’t have a terribly long run at the top but he was amazing while he was there, defeating such elite opponents as Lupe Aquino, Milton McCrory and Marlon Starling (twice). He was 25-0 (with 19 KOs) to start his career. And then, after he lost to Lloyd Honeyghan, he was never the same. Among new comers, Danny “Little Red” Lopez, one of my all-time favorites, has solid credentials.
TOUGHEST DECISION II
Arturo Gatti in Hall of Fame? I could argue that Gatti doesn’t belong. I could point out that he had neither the skills nor the resume to be an automatic choice for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Gabriel Ruelas and James Leija were probably the most-talented fighters he defeated but both were in decline at the time they met. Beyond that, he beat mostly lower-level contenders or marginal titleholders. That said, he has to be a serious candidate because of what he meant to boxing. He pumped life into the sport and became one of the most-popular fighters of his time because of the countless thrills he gave the fans. We need another Arturo Gatti right about now. Is he a Hall of Famer, though? Tough one.
Edwin Valero: “I’ve never hit my little sister and much less my mother,” Valero said, according to Venezuelan television station RCTV. He denied reports that he was arrested on domestic violence charges.
Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]