COMMENTARY | There was an embarrassment of riches for boxing fans these last several days as one full week of titillating buzz and outside-the-ring craziness culminated in a Saturday full of main stage, quality fight action.
First, there was a rare boxing press conference that actually mattered when Zab Judah took aim at Golden Boy for alleged mistreatment in the days leading to his bout with Danny Garcia. Not only would Judah refuse to shake hands with Golden Boy President, Oscar De la Hoya, but he would go on a tirade against the company that left De la Hoya looking like a wounded baby seal. The former junior welterweight and welterweight world champ would even tear into Danny Garcia's controversial father and trainer, Angel, labeling him a "dopehead" because "he reacts in a crazy, frantic way…this is how these people react."
Another memorable out-of-ring moment occurred when Adrien Broner and Paulie Malignaggi engaged in a battle of intellects outside of the Garcia-Judah press conference. The two fighters, who will meet in June for Malignaggi's WBA welterweight belt, traded dim-witted barbs and postured for their respective "crews." The highlight of the affair was Malignaggi mockingly asking Broner who he beat to win the world title. Really? Talk about the pot calling the kettle "black."
Then, on fight night…
Amir Khan (28-3, 19 KOs) was Amir Khan, physically gifted with two or three fatal flaws that make even faded former lightweight champs like Julio Diaz (40-8-1, 29 KOs) live underdogs. Khan was able to pull off the close win-- 114-113, 115-113, 115-112 on the official scorecards-- but would be sent to the canvas in the fourth round and hurt in each of the last three to make a thrilling contest out of what could've been a dull mismatch.
Heavyweight prospect, Deontay Wilder (28-0, 28 KOs) made a splash by blowing away perpetual underachiever Audley Harrison (31-7, 23 KOs) in the first round on the Khan-Diaz undercard, but still has to be considered a very raw prospect at this stage of his career. However, Wilder did prove that he is, by no means, a rapper with his cringe-worthy post-fight lyrical call-out of Tyson Fury.
Peter "Kid Chocolate" Quillin (29-0, 21 KOs) made the first defense of his WBO middleweight title against a game Fernando Guerrero (25-2, 19 KOs), scoring four knockdowns en route to an entertaining TKO 7 victory. The heavy-handed Quillin should now take a huge step forward in the 160 lb. division.
Sergio Martinez (51-2-2, 28 KOs) battled the rain, the high expectations of his home country fans in Argentina, a troubling cut over his left eye, and a legitimately tough Martin Murray (25-1-1, 11 KOs) to keep himself at the top of a competitive middleweight class. Winning by three scores of 115-112, Martinez saved himself from a huge loss by pushing forward and taking the last two rounds of a bout that was looking more and more like an upset.
Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KOs) out-toughed a bloody Chris Arreola (35-3, 30 KOs) at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, Ontario, California in a heavyweight thriller to get his shot at WBC champ, Vitali Klitschko. The unanimous decision scores read 117-110, 117-110, and 118-109, but credit has to go to both fighters for surviving some hellacious shots over twelve draining rounds.
Danny Garcia (26-0, 16 KOs) managed to hold on to his WBC and WBA junior welterweight belts via unanimous decision by scores of 115-112, 114-112, and 116-111 despite a late rush from former two-division world champ, Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KOs). The bloody, well-fought clash validates Garcia's status as the no. 1 junior welter in the world, but also assures that the 35-year-old Judah, who suffered a knockdown in the eighth before winning three of the next four rounds, will keep his reputation as a legitimate Top 10 challenger.
Now, after a wonderful Saturday of quality action, fans get to look forward to next Saturday's Floyd Mayweather vs. Robert Guerrero pay-per-view.
Not bad for a "dying" sport.
Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. His work can also be found on Fox Sports and as Editor-in-Chief of The Boxing Tribune. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing. For breaking news, additional analysis, and assorted crazy commentary, follow him on Facebook, @TheBoxingTribune or on Twitter, @BoxingBTBC.
Sources: HBO Sports, Showtime Boxing, YouTube
- Sports & Recreation
- Danny Garcia
- Zab Judah