by Cliff Rold
Cinderella’s show always falls off and the carriage always becomes a pumpkin. It’s inevitable.
The story doesn’t work without it. In the end, she gets it all back and lives happily ever after. Real life often works in reverse. In boxing, ‘Cinderella men’ rarely get the slipper back. They get their big dance at the ball and that’s it.
James Braddock won the Heavyweight title and lost it in his first defense. The same was true James Douglas. Ricardo Mayorga beat Vernon Forrest twice before the shoe fell off at Welterweight and Carlos Baldomir managed a single defense before Floyd Mayweather played the part of cream rising in the same class.
We know after reading Monday’s results lineal World Flyweight Champion Sonny Boy Jaro did not extend his stay at the ball. By the end of the fistic week, we’ll know whether or not the law of threes is in affect.
In the last few weeks, boxing has seen two upsets almost no one was picking going in. In both, rugged, willing warriors met men who were born with athletic gifts they were not. At the final bell, Josesito Lopez and Danny Garcia proved why, in boxing, the participants wear the moniker ‘fighter’ before ‘athlete.’ Will they add another to their number?
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #2 Adrien Broner vs. Vicente Escobedo (Saturday, HBO, 10 PM EST/PST)
So this is where the law of three comes to bear. Sure, it’s hokum superstition, but that doesn’t mean the coincidences don’t occur. Escobedo, a 2004 U.S. Olympian (26-3, 15 KO), gets his first outright title shot at 30 and has to make it count. A grinding, entertaining fighter, Escobedo’s weakness has been speed. The man he faces, WBO titlist Adrien Broner (23-0, 19 KO), is 22-years of greasy fast with pop to go with it. However, there is reason to believe “Hairbrush” is still a work in progress. His level of competition is where it should be at his age, but he struggled with Daniel Ponce De Leon and this may be his best opponent since, making it his best foe yet. An upset is unlikely, but if the world has been reminded of anything in Lopez-Ortiz and Garcia-Khan, it is one of boxing’s best adages:
That’s why they fight the fights.
Pick Monday: Sonny Boy Jaro vs. Toshiyuki Igarashi (Monday, Japan, ?)
A YouTube special, this one had all the earmarks of a coronation going in and that’s what ended up the case. Igarashi wasn’t overly proven, but he has talent, some decent wins, and fighting at home he managed to capture the crown. Or did he. The split decision has created modest debate among some of the fans who saw it abroad and, being that this was for history’s 112 lb. crown, it makes it worth a look if it turns up.
Pick Fox: Johan Perez vs. Pablo Cesar Cano (Saturday, Fox Deportes, 11 PM EST)
While ESPN2 will have a solid with Juan Carlos Burgos on Friday, this gets the nod here. Fighting for the interim WBA belt at 140, neither man is actually to be regarded as a top ten fighter in the class…yet. It could change. Mexico’s Cano (24-1-1, 19 KO) made an impression in a spirited loss to the great Erik Morales last year. Perez (15-0-1, 12 KO) is a technically sound boxer-puncher from Venezuela. Opportunity is a fickle thing and both fighters need a win to get a chance at a bigger one. The winner could be, could being the operative word, in the race for a mandatory crack at Danny Garcia down the road if Garcia keeps a hold on the WBA belt. This could be a sleeper to turn into a real war.
Back in seven.
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Cliff Rold is a member of the Ring Magazine Ratings Advisory Panel and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]