Saturday, September 12, 2009

News & Notes: Ward and Kessler Scrimmages, Latin Fury 11, and Juan Manuel Marquez

Michael Nelson gives his thoughts on tonight's Showtime and Latin Fury cards.

In what will likely be the biggest mismatch on either Showtime or HBO this year, Andre Ward is looking to stay sharp before the Super Six tournament against Shelby Pudwill. Ward is anywhere from a -8,000 to a -20,000 betting favorite in the sportsbooks. Meaning, depending on where you bet, you would only win $500 if you placed $100,000 on Andre.

I realize it's a tuneup, but this is pushing it. Pudwill was a first round knockout victim in his only step up to anything resembling a world class opponent - John Duddy three years ago.

Mikkel Kessler is in decidedly tougher in the first half of the Shobox doubleheader when he faces Venezuelan Gusmyr Perdomo. Like Pudwill, Perdomo will enter the ring as the prohibitive underdog and his record doesn't exactly scream upset, but at least he's hung tough with a few decent fighters. There may actually be a moment or two of competitive action.

This is scraping the barrel as far as televised boxing. But since it's a warmup to a groundbreaking tournament, all is forgiven. If nothing else, it'll be interesting to hear Antonio Tarver as a commentator again after doing an excellent job in July.

Latin Fury...

Last month's Pinoy Power card wasn't particularly good, and I'm not sure if tonight's Latin Fury 11 program will be much better. Admittedly, I don't pay much attention to the minimumweight division, and Donnie Nietes against Manuel Vargas is by far the most evenly matched fight of the night on paper. It's followed by Fernando Montiel against Alejandro Valdrez, who may be a bit tougher than rising Japanese star Hozumi Hasegawa made him look. Tough enough to upset Montiel? Probably not.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr shares the main event with Portland's Jason LeHoullier. Most don't give LeHoullier much of a chance, but you can say the same about the prefight perceptions of Carlos Molina, Matt Vanda, and Luciano Leonel Cuello, and they gave the young man all he could handle. Another controversial decision and another rematch in a future Latin Fury wouldn't be surprising.

Juan Manuel Who?

The arguments on how next weekend's big Pay-Per-View bout will pan out have turned into pissing contests. Self-proclaimed boxing fan Dana White says he doesn't know who Floyd Mayweather's opponent is and Bob Arum says Floyd is only exciting when he's "shooting up cars".

It's all a bit too much to swallow.

I agree with Lee Payton. Despite the size difference, Marquez is a serious opponent, and anyone expecting a mockery is in for a shock. I think we have a good fight on our hands.

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sbeezy said...

I am too cheap to keep Showtime on my cable package so I missed this weekend's fight. However, I'm willing to view this fight as an investment by Showtime. It served as a tune-up and exposure to two of their guys in the Super Six Tourney. Can't blame them for that and they needs these guys to be fresh in November. I would be interested to see Tarver live blow by blow. He was always a well spoken guy and knew alot about fighting. I just hope that's as close to a ring we see him again. Good fighter, but his better days are behind him.

Dana White has a chip on his shoulder with boxing plus they are competing this upcoming weekend. He might not know Marquez, but Mexicans do and anyone who follows boxing does so that's all you need. Arum's comments about Floyd were in bad taste, but nothing out of Bob's mouth surprises me anymore. I think Floyd will dominate, but this is a good fight. The best taking on the best is all you can ask for.

Michael Nelson said...

I agree on all accounts, especially Tarver, though he's indicated interest in returning to the ring. But it would be nice if he hung up the gloves and became an analyst full time. Roy Jones was nice behind the mic and so would be his arch nemesis.

sbeezy said...

I thought Roy was horrible at first, but got better. He always had the boxing knowledge but was terrible at putting his words together. I thought Lennox Lewis was terrible at first too so maybe I'm just too harsh on these guys :-). Commentating is not an easy thing. I'd say it's probably one of the hardest things to do next to public speaking in front of a big crowd.