by Cliff Rold
Sometimes things go like they are supposed to. Nonito Donaire was supposed to beat Omar Narvaez easy; maybe it wasn’t supposed to be as boring as it turned out, sure, but easy. Pongsaklek Wonjongkam-Edgar Sosa was supposed to be a solid face-off of seasoned pros. Those who saw it got what they came for.
Pray this weekend’s best fight, on paper, goes as expected and lives up to precedent. They did it once already in 2011. It’s not too much to ask them to do it again.
These are the picks of the week.
Pick It: #2 Hernan Marquez vs. #3 Rafael Concepcion (Saturday, Azteca America, 10 PM EST/PST)
For those who witnessed the carnage, it is likely still their leading choice for Fight of the Year. On April 2, the now-reigning WBA flyweight titlist Marquez (31-2, 24 KO), and the then-reigning titlist Concepcion (23-2, 18 KO), swapped knockdowns in round one and let loose the best of violence on each other for nine more rounds. At the end, Concepcion had roared from the floor, hurt Marquez, and then was told by the ringside doctor’s his night was done. In a year full of asinine judging, bad officiating, and disappointing so-called megafights, Marquez-Concepcion was one of those fights serving as an answer for why fight fans put up with the bad stuff. This fight might not command the stage of others, but it’s rare red meat for the lifeblood of fandom. Let the bell sound.
Pick Sho: Brandon Gonzalez vs. Ossie Duran (Friday, Showtime, 11 PM EST/PST)
The show(time) must go on. What was supposed to be a clash of Heavyweight contender (the now cancelled Eddie Chambers-Tony Thompson) is now a Middleweight prospect spotlight fight. There are worse ways to spend part of a Friday night. Gonzalez (14-0, 10 KO) shows promise and Duran (26-8-2, 10 KO) is the sort of iron-chinned veteran who can take him to the limit. Duran has made rough nights for many a fresh face. Gonzalez will know more, as will the viewing public, about what he’s made of after this.
Pick Future Challenger: #8 Vanes Martirosyan vs. Richard Gutierrez (Saturday, Fox Deportes, 10 PM EST/PST)
There are quite a few decent little men scraps this week besides Marquez-Concepcion II. Check the divisional ratings for some of this weekend’s dates. As for U.S. TV, fans without access to Azteca but do have Fox can choose to check out the seemingly never-ending development of former Olympian Martirosyan (30-0, 19 KO). A pro for six years, he’s still only 25 but one begins to wonder how much more careful his handlers can be before really moving him along. Gutierrez (26-7-1, 16 KO) at least makes for watchable stuff before losing these days.
Back in seven.
For BoxingScene’s latest full divisional ratings, log on to: https://www.boxingscene.com/forums/view.php?pg=boxing-ratings
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]