Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Bouncing Forward After a Danny, Zab, Ronda Weekend

By Lyle Fitzsimmons

Random notes collected while digesting Sunday night’s Bounce TV premiere:

I love me some Paulie Malignaggi and I concede to having rooted hard for him Saturday night against Danny Garcia, but I must admit to having emerged from Saturday night’s Brooklyn show far more impressed with the eventual main-event winner than I had been with him at the outset.

Garcia was a worthy and deserving champion at 140 pounds and slayed the guy who held the silly “Most Avoided Fighter” title prior to Gennady Golovkin, but his image had been more recently smudged thanks to a mismatch with Rod Salka and iffy verdicts over Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson.

Given the collection of talent now residing at 147 pounds, I wasn’t sold it was the best place for him.

Now I’m not so sure.

While it’s true that Malignaggi was coming off a long layoff and hadn’t actually won a fight since the tail end of 2013, he’d seemed confident and capable enough going in to at least give “Swift” the sorts of fits he’d encountered with other guys who brought something to the table beyond robotic aggression.

Instead, Garcia’s full-fledged welterweight incarnation was unfazed by Paulie’s attempts at irritation, remained committed to punishing the body whenever it was within reach and retained high energy levels into the later rounds where the junior welter version had oft-times found it lacking. 

Ultimately, it was that combination that left Malignaggi impressed.

“I think Danny can be a really, really upper-echelon fighter. I think he can put his name in the history books,” he said. “He doesn’t get frustrated. If he does get frustrated he doesn’t show it. Every time a round would start, he was fresh all the time.”

Of course, none of this is to say Garcia will have his way with the likes of Maidana, Porter, Thurman, Khan or Brook – all of whom have either spoken his name, or had theirs spoken by him – but a case in his favor does seem far more arguable today than it might have been about 72 hours ago.

******

So, I hear Zab Judah’s coming back. You’ll have to forgive me for not dancing in the streets.

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate the guy’s “Super” effort while winning title belts at 140 and 147 pounds years ago, or his game performances in subsequent losses to future Canastota plaque-holders named Cotto and Mayweather, but if ever there’s a guy whom the game has seemingly passed by, it’s him.

His most recent victories came against guys named Vernon Paris and Kaizer Mabuza – something less than pound-for-pounders the last time I looked – and it’s been three and four years, respectively, since those triumphs even occurred. And lest we forget, he was beaten up by Malignaggi in his most recent fight 20 months ago, the same Malignaggi who was methodically beaten into a retirement declaration this past weekend by Judah’s other most recent conqueror, Garcia.

Getting through a pre-Pacquiao camp with Mayweather this spring may have indeed refueled Zab’s competitive engines and I respect his dedication to the craft, but unless he’s very gently matched going forward by his new colleagues at Greg Cohen Promotions, it’s far more likely that the story’s conclusion more closely resembles Malignaggi’s than “Money’s.”

******

The more I think about it these days, the more that the career arc of Ronda Rousey reminds me of the one her so-called athletic idol, Mike Tyson, took us all on a generation ago.

For those unaware, the Tyson of the 1980s was a violent phenomenon, terrifying opponents long before they reached the ring and then having his way with their shell-shocked carcasses upon arrival.

Of course, what gets lost amid the nostalgia these days is that “Iron Mike’s” reign of terror never included anything close to a 50/50 fight – he was a 4-1 favorite heading into a 91-second demolition of Michael Spinks – and when he did encounter guys able to take a shot and deliver a reply, he found himself on the losing end against Douglas, Holyfield and Lewis, not to mention Williams and McBride.

Greatest heavyweight ever? Hardly. Greatest front-runner ever? Certainly.

Similarly, the jury remains out on Rousey’s long-term octagonal menace, too.

Oh, she’s quick to wrap herself in Tyson’s aura while lobbing rocks at Mayweather’s behavior (perhaps a trip to Mike’s Wikipedia page is in order sometime soon, Ms. R), and the talking heads swoon at 30-second erasures of foes who appear happy just to get their names in the paper, but it’s not as if she’s been hurdling any obstacles lately that anyone suggested had a real chance of tripping her up.

In fact, though she’s made the cover of Sports Illustrated, cameoed at WrestleMania and probably surpassed her gloved nemesis in the chase for ESPY-contending name recognition, until she climbs in the cage with something near a 50/50 proposition and climbs out with an unbeaten mark still intact, Rousey – like Tyson – will remain more suspect than superstar to the non-fawning set.
 
* * * * * * * * * *

This week’s title-fight schedule:

FRIDAY

Vacant WBO bantamweight title – Bangkok, Thailand
Ryo Akaho (No. 1 contender/No. 10 IWBR) vs. Pungluang Sor Singyu (No. 2 contender/No. 14 IWBR)

Akaho (26-1-2, 18 KO): Second title fight (0-1); Second fight outside Japan (1-0, 1 KO)
Sor Singyu (50-3, 34 KO): Fourth title fight (1-2); Held WBO title at 118 pounds (2012-13, zero defenses)

Fitzbitz says: Akaho isn’t the veteran in the weight class and he’s making only his second appearance on foreign soil, but he seems to have found something at 118 that he hadn’t had. Akaho by decision

Last week's picks: 2-0 (WIN: Ambunda, Payano)
2015 picks record: 52-14 (78.7 percent)
Overall picks record: 691-237 (74.4 percent)

NOTE: Fights previewed are only those involving a sanctioning body's full-fledged title-holder – no interim, diamond, silver, etc. Fights for WBA "world championships" are only included if no "super champion" exists in the weight class.

Lyle Fitzsimmons has covered professional boxing since 1995 and written a weekly column for Boxing Scene since 2008. He is a full voting member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter – @fitzbitz.

Tags: Zab Judah image   Danny Garcia image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by SUBZER0ED on 08-04-2015

Leave it to Fitzsimmons to become a believer in Garcia, while trashing Rousey and Tyson. Garcia beat a smaller, older, shop-worn, brittle-handed fighter in Malignaggi & suddenly the optimism for what he can do @ WW goes up? Sorry, but…

Comment by SouthPawHitman on 08-04-2015

I love Floyd and think he is one of the 15 best boxers ever but Ronda would destroy him and possibly KO him. If you think otherwise you are dulusional.

Comment by Boxfan83 on 08-04-2015

Was boxing that dissappointing this weekend that Rousey actually had to get thrown into the mix on a boxing website? If PBC took over boxing, itd be scary to think that UFC may come out on top...

Comment by twosweethooks on 08-04-2015

There are some women you don't mess with because they will black your eyes bloody your nose and choke you Out !! Miss Ronda is one of them. May Jr knows who can whupp his Azzzzz and he knows Miss…

Comment by BrometheusBob. on 08-04-2015

Garcia looked like a legit welter but was otherwise unimpressive in a fight clearly intended to make him look good. [QUOTE=ELPacman;15937313]So Rhonda has destroyed her #1,2,3,4 ranked competitors in devastating fashion but gets no credit until she faces a roided…

Post a Comment - View More User Comments (15)
Top Headlines Miller: I Knew Joshua's a Punk; Wanted to Push His Buttons Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse: Afterthoughts Carl Frampton Getting Annoyed By Trash Talk of Luke Jackson Kamil Delighted After Winning The Right To Remain in Scotland Jermaine Franklin Decisions Craig Lewis at Motor City Casino Bellew: I Prefer Usyk-Gassiev Winner - But Fury Easier, Pays More Joshua: Wilder is Definitely Going To Happen - Confident I'll Win! Zeuge's Coach, Braehmer, Went Bonkers After Upset Loss Shakhram Giyasov Picks Up Stoppage Win in First Round Usyk, Gassiev Could Be One Step Away Before Heavyweight Leap Nacho: Canelo Needs The "Perfect Fight" To Beat Golovkin Subriel Matias vs. Breidis Prescott Set For August 18 Photos: Andrade, Vargas, Hooker, Roman Join Hearn, DAZN Photos: Anthony Joshua, Jarrell Miller - Confrontation in NYC Jarrell Miller-Artur Szpilka in Play For October 6 in Chicago Photos: Anthony Joshua, Alexander Povetkin - Go Face To Face Cindy Serrano Confident That She Will Shock Katie Taylor Chocolatito Solves Visa Issue, Hopes For September Return Joshua Warns Miller: Anyone is Welcome To Come Get The Smoke! Hearn: Greatest Thing To Happen To U.S. Boxing in a Long Time! Anthony Joshua, Jarrell Miller Erupt in Heated Confrontation Ryan Burnett, Mikhail Aloyan Confirmed For WBSS Season 2 DAZN Fighter Signings, Event Dates, Service Price Revealed Parker's Trainer: We Want 'Fair Referee' For Dillian Whyte Fight Usyk: On Saturday, People Will See Everything From Me Whyte-Parker: Joe Joyce Rules Himself Out, Reveals Trainer Split Pacquiao Coach Would Love Amir Khan Showdown at Wembley Hurd's Coach: Charlo Panics in Tough Spots - We'll Exploit That! Pacquiao: I Don't Know Yet About Fighting Keith Thurman Frank Warren: Fury Has The Tools To Beat Them All Comfortably Trainer: Pacquiao Proved Doubters Wrong, There are Many Haters Charlie Flynn Believes it is Time To Talk Usyk vs. Gassiev - Full World Boxing Super Series Card Price: Joshua Did Not Knock Takam Out Cold - Povetkin Did Hearn: The Offer To Deontay Wilder Will NOT Be Improving! Ken Shiro Looks Forward To a Long Reign as Champion Dooley Noted: The Diminishing of Yorkies, Undercards, PPVs Bivol Prepares For Chilemba, Admits He Has One Eye on Kovalev Pacquiao: I'm Addicted To Boxing - I Want To Defend My Belt! Berchelt vs. Roman in Talks For October Date on HBO
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement