Saturday was a busy one for boxing and here are ten things we learned from it:
10. Mickey Rourke has lost all sense of reality. Which is maybe a good thing when you’re 62-years-old and still can’t decide what your face should look like. But it’s painful to watch. Especially when it involves him winning fixed fights against homeless people and planning more matches for the near future.
9. Derek Chisora needs to find a new way to make a living. It’s difficult to say for certain if “Del Boy” ever really was a serious contender, but as time goes on the idea that this guy more or less bluffed his way into being considered worthy of big money matches becomes only more convincing. Could anyone have looked more inept against Tyson Fury last night? As you watched Chisora lose round after round, rest assured you were not alone if you found yourself asking out loud, “How the hell did this guy ever get a high ranking, let alone a title shot?’ Move on, Derek. Boxing has been far too good to you. Which brings us to ….
8. Tyson Fury can’t punch. He pasted Chisora with power shots whenever he wanted, as often as he wanted, from every conceivable angle, and yet he never came close to ending matters. It may seem strange for a man as big and heavy as Fury to punch with about the same force as your average featherweight, but that appears to be the case. Which means …
7. Wlad will eat Tyson Fury for breakfast. Klitschko is markedly better than Fury in every department. Plus, as mentioned, Fury can’t punch hard enough to pierce Klitschko’s guard and crack his chin, which is the only chance he’ll have of winning against someone much more skilled. Remember, Tyson was almost KO’d by Steve Cunningham; he’ll get hammered into oblivion by Wlad. Though that said, a Klitschko-Fury fight could still be great fun. The build-up alone should be highly entertaining.
6. With Billy Joe Saunders also winning on the Fury-Chisora undercard, it was definitely a good day for “traveler” fight fans. Brad Pitt should be proud as Saunders outlasted Chris Eubank Jr. Which brings us to …
5. Chris Eubank Jr. has real potential. But needless to say, he’s not the second coming of Sugar Ray Leonard, as his pompous father would have us believe. And Eubank Sr. definitely needs to get over himself, stay out of the corner and let trainer Ronnie Davies do his job. Junior could use some extra time in the gym and then some seasoning against U.K. opposition such as Nick Blackwell and John Ryder after his close points loss to Saunders.
4. Jose Luis Castillo earned every dollar of his otherwise unearned payday against lead-fisted Ruslan Provodnikov. Castillo could have gone down and stayed down as soon as he absorbed one of “The Siberian Rocky’s” power shots, but he didn’t and instead lasted longer than almost anyone thought he would. Needless to say though, Castillo should not be boxing. He was once very, very good and, in the opinion of most, got shafted by the judges in his first fight against Floyd Mayweather, before going on to participate in a war for the ages against Diego Corrales. But he’s beyond shot and that debacle in Moscow was still depressing.
3. Terence Crawford is the real deal. Before last night we already knew Crawford as a superb boxer with adaptability and intelligence, but his fight with Beltran again demonstrated the Omahan’s mettle. Both Yuriorkis Gamboa and Beltran were able to temporarily hurt the Nebraska native with their best shots, only for Crawford to withstand the attack and fight back instead of clinching his way to safety. This quality will serve Crawford well when he moves up in weight and tests himself against bigger and better fighters.
2. Beltran still deserves a rematch with Ricky Burns. Lest we forget, one of the most putrid decisions of the year previous was Burns retaining his title by a draw against the long-suffering Beltran. It’s worth considering that had the proper decision been rendered, it would have been Beltran earning far more money, win or lose, by defending his title against Crawford, not the other way around. Give Beltran that rematch, Ricky, if you have the guts to get back in the ring with the guy who busted your jaw.
1. The day-before weigh-in continues to make a mockery of the sport. While Crawford vs. Beltran was fought for 135-pound supremacy with the lineal title on the line, hometown hero Terence Crawford climbed into the ring at a jaw-dropping 153 pounds, which means he won a lightweight title fight as a junior middleweight. If you can make any sense of that or explain why it’s permissible, maybe you should give particle physics a try.