August 04, 2013
If you weren't a boxing fan and happened to tune into the "Fight Night" card from the Mohegan Sun Casino on Saturday, nothing that Eddie Chambers or Dominick Guinn did in their respective bouts could possibly have turned you into one.
Not, that is, unless you like to see guys fight with zero passion, want to watch guys who act as if they'd rather be anywhere else but in the ring, and enjoy seeing guys who do little other than showing up to collect a paycheck.
Chambers was dreadful in his unanimous decision loss to Thabiso Mchunu and, if possible, Guinn was worse in a loss to Tomasz Adamek.
They gave disappointing efforts on a night when they had a big stage to themselves. The upstart "Fight Night" series on NBC Sports Network is designed to showcase up and coming fighters and veterans looking for another opportunity to get to the top. For its last few shows, though, it's gone head-to-head with either HBO or Showtime cards and lost a lot of viewers, as a result.
But on Saturday, it had the boxing stage to itself, but it was a total bomb thanks to the lack of effort from both Chambers and Guinn. It wasn't unexpected that Guinn would simply cruise, but the fight for Chambers represented a significant opportunity.
He was moving to cruiserweight from heavyweight, where he had given away many inches and many pounds. He had been reasonably successful at heavyweight, good enough to have gotten a title shot against Wladimir Klitschko in 2010. He seemed perfect for the cruisereweight division.
But he showed next-to-nothing on Saturday. He threw just 340 punches and landed only 15 percent. He only landed 13 jabs in 10 rounds. It was a pitiful effort for a guy thinking he'd get back into world title contention.
If only he'd shown some of the effort that Saul Roman did. Roman was blasted out in the first round in the main event by Curtis Stevens, but at least he fought back hard. The hard-hitting Stevens, who looks like a great potential opponent for middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, knocked Roman down twice.
After the first knockdown, it would have been easy for Roman to quit. But he pulled himself off the deck and traded. It cost him a second, more vicious knockdown when Stevens caught him with a left hook, but he showed that he wanted to win and came to fight. The same couldn't be said of either Chambers or Guinn.
Stevens, clearly, was the night's big winner. He's now 25-3 with 18 knockouts and has made himself into a legitimate contender at middleweight.
The same can't be said of the other guys on the card with a lot to gain.