Who's Hot, Who's Not - October Edition
By Dr. Peter Edwards
The doctor is finally ready to make some house calls. In this edition of Who's Hot and Who's Not, we touch on heavyweight James Toney, the disappointing bout between Roy Jones Jr. and Antonio Tarver, the rejuvenated Nate Campbell and the heavyweight warrior Lamon Brewster.
James Toney - A small fish in a big pond and yet he is still eating up the competition. This past weekend, Toney easily schooled heavyweight Dominick Guinn. It was not that long ago that Guinn was considered the best American heavyweight in the division, now he is simply considered a fringe contender.
Every win in the heavyweight division is significant for James Toney. The man won his first title weighing 157 pounds, now he is beating fighters that weigh anywhere from 219 to 243 pounds. Toney may not have a heavyweight punch, but he does have a heavyweight chin and possesses quicker hands than most heavyweights in the division. A fight with IBF heavyweight champion Chris Byrd is rumored for next January, let's hope it happens.
Nate Campbell - Talk about getting himself back in the big picture. In his last 5 fights, Campbell has looked far less than the impressive prospect he once was. He was stopped twice by Robbie Peden, won a foul filled bout with Edelmiro Martinez, stopped journeyman Johnny Walker and dropped a split decision to fringe contender Francisco Lorenzo in his last bout.
This past Saturday, Campbell stepped up his game and stopped undefeated prospect Almazbek "Kid Diamond" Raiymkulov in 10 rounds. To say the fight was not even close would be an understatement. Raiymkulov appeared to be a very talented up and coming fighter in the lightweight division and the loss stunned most experts who saw Kid Diamond as a heavy favorite to win.
The 28-year-old Kid Diamond showed heart, but had no idea on how to adjust to Campbell's style in order to win. There were points in the fight when he was not even protecting himself. Campbell cracked this "Diamond" mentally and physically during the course of the fight.
Top Rank and manager Cameron Duncan should match Kid Diamond's stablemate Zahir Raheem against Nate Campbell. The bout would be very interesting and the winner would be in the running for a potential date against the winner of the upcoming superfight between Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales.
Lamon Brewster - The warrior heart in Brewster was evident during his hyped bout against Luan Krasniqi in Germany last week. Brewster could not possibly have bigger odds against him in this fight. It was the 100th birthday of German boxing legend Max Schmeling, the fight was before thousands of Krasniqi's German countrymen and he was behind on points. Brewster knew that the only way he was going to win this fight was to go for a knockout and that is exactly what he did. Now Lamon can look towards a possible big money rematch against Wladimir Klitschko.
Antonio Tarver - I might be one of the few or one of the many, that was not impressed with Antonio Tarver this past weekend. He could preach all he wants about Roy being at his best in their third meeting, but that was not Roy Jones at his best. What I saw was a fighter who was unwilling to throw more than a handful of punches per round and satisfied with just surviving to the end. Jones landed an average of 7 punches per round, 19 of them came in round 5 and 85 landed total.
The fact that Tarver was tired by the 11th round is absurd when considering the fighter on the other end was barely throwing anything. Then again, maybe his 36 year old body is starting to show it's age. Tarver talked a lot of trash prior to the fight on how there was no way he was letting this fight get in the hands of the judges. So much for keeping promises. For a fighter who claims that Jones never hurt him in their two previous meetings, he appeared to be very reluctant to step up his own aggression.
Roy Jones - He came back for one last fight, a performance of a lifetime. That performance consisted of dancing, sticking out his tongue, doing rooster feints and laughing as he lost each passing round. It was certainly not a performance that consisted of boxing or trying to win a fight. Why even waste the time and money of the boxing public if all you were concerned with in this fight was finishing on your feet?
Joe Calzaghe - If you want to be considered the best, you must fight the best. It appears that every single time Calzaghe is on the verge of landing a big fight, he either manages to get injured or finds another way to weasel his way out of the fight. It happened three times against Glen Johnson and now it appears that a rescheduled fight with Jeff Lacy is more fantasy than reality.
The money is there and the hometown advantage is there, but Calzaghe is talking about fighting middleweight fighters like Winky Wright. If Calzaghe dares to be great, then he needs to step up and fight Jeff Lacy in order to prove who is the best super middleweight in the world.