by Cliff Rold
The sport essentially took a deep breath while the circus tent came down on the money bonanza (pun included). Now it’s time to get back to work.
And oh what work we have to relish. Nothing beats a real puncher’s duel. We have one Saturday night. We also have the latest example of just how unprofessional a legend’s spoiled kid can be.
And that’s just on one network. Even with the unfortunate postponement of David Haye-Tyson Fury at Heavyweight, we’ve got a fine night ahead
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: World Champion Adonis Stevenson vs. #5 Tavoris Cloud (Saturday, HBO, 10:15 PM EST/PST)
One fight after losing a belt in the class, Tavoris Cloud (24-1, 19 KO) has the chance to become THE Light Heavyweight Champion of the World. You gotta’ love boxing. Cloud could easily have two straight losses instead of the one official to Bernard Hopkins. The Gabriel Campillo fight was poorly scored. Hopkins and Campillo are stylists. Stevenson…he ain’t. Stevenson (21-1, 18 KO) is one of those special punchers in the Earnie Shavers or Julian Jackson variety. Like them, his chin may not be granite but he lands like a ton of bricks. Cloud has always shown a better beard than the man Stevenson took the crown from (Chad Dawson) and he can land some big stuff as well. This is just a perfect fan’s fight and, with WBO titlist Sergey Kovalev (22-0-1, 20 KO) possibly in the wings, Light Heavyweight has a chance to see some incredible bombs traded soon. It starts this weekend…and Hopkins is still out there waiting to see what bomb thrower he can next defuse too.
Also on the HBO broadcast, in a fight with weight to be determined, is former Middleweight paper titlist Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (46-1, 32 KO). Chavez will show up at, estimates guess, between 168 and 175 lbs. for a fight with Middleweight Brian Vera (23-6, 14 KO). After postponements, Chavez likely won’t meet the original weight agreed upon. Vera hasn’t even weighed 168 since 2010. This is a farce, as is a lot of the career of Chavez. He’ll probably win. It’s okay to root hard for Vera.
Pick Espanol: Glen Tapia vs. Elco Garcia (Saturday, UniMas, 12 AM EST/11 PM PST)
In a Junior Middleweight scrap, Tapia (19-0, 11 KO) will try to keep his unbeaten mark against a Garcia (27-8, 13 KO) who hasn’t been stopped since 2006. Tapia looks like he might have the goods to be a contender. We’ll see over time if he has the makings of a champion. Garcia should give him some good rounds.
Pick More Espanol: David Carmona vs. Antonio Tostada (Friday, Telemundo, 11:35 PM EST/PST)
A pair of Mexican Jr. Bantamweight prospects get the televised weekend started. Carmona (15-1, 8 KO) lost a six-round split in his seventh fight and had a cut shortened outing in his last. That bout, with Danny Flores, was a rematch of a 12-round split in his previous. Of the two, Carmona has faced the stiffer comp so far. We’ll see if Tostada (11-0, 5 KO) can rise to the occasion in his first step up.
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Cliff Rold is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene and a member of the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, the Yahoo Pound for Pound voting panel, and the Boxing Writers Association of America. He can be reached at [email protected]