By Ishe Smith
As the second quarter is rapidly approaching I have some very mixed thoughts of my own regarding the state of the game. It is beyond my understanding as to why a guy like Amir Khan is receiving so much praise over in the United States? Khan is by far the biggest question mark in boxing right now. He doesn’t beat Timothy Bradley, and I highly doubt he beats Paulie Malignaggi. I am amazed at how much press this guy is getting. Why does he even deserve it? Khan, who has rebounded well since his one round destruction at the hands of Breidis Prescott, is a good fighter, but all these accolades is mind boggling.
It’s a shame when a guy like Timothy Bradley is getting played and overlooked. Bradley is by far the best fighter in the junior welterweight division, and these fighters are avoiding him like the plague. I was brought up in a day and age where the best fought the best. Boxing is starting to become so political that it even puts Sarah Palin's written palm notes to shame.
In regards to Gary Shaw’s recent remarks regarding Erislandy Lara, I couldn’t agree with him more. This is getting ridiculous regarding this guy. Maybe Golden Boy sees something that I don’t, but calling out the likes out of Angulo, Cintron, and Martinez is absolutely premature. I know a handful of fighters, myself included, who would love to get a crack at exposing this guy for what he is - a first tier amateur at best. Lara has no following in the United States, he hasn’t proven himself, and he brings nothing to the table - enough said!
We have some big fights planned for the second quarter like Hopkins vs. Jones. If nothing else there is at least history there. Then Mayweather vs. Mosley on May 1. I've said it once and I will say it again - fireworks are the only thing that comes to mind when thinking about this fight. I think Shane is going to press the issue and do what he can to turn it into a fight, and we all know Mayweather is going to box and stay on the outside. I can see Shane getting frustrated and confused if he is not able to be counter-productive in breaking Mayweather's defense. I don’t care what Shane thinks he can do or what he thinks he can see - if he doesn't have the proper training/sparring - he will fail in breaking that barrier.
I remember hearing about whom De La Hoya had in camp to prepare for the fight with Mayweather and immediately I thought it was a major mistake on his part. It was a good fight, but Oscar was never really able to get Floyd out of his comfort zone. I would suggest Shane use Stevie Forbes, and I so hate doing this (tooting my own horn), but even myself would be a good fit for his camp. If not us, then he better find someone who mimics that style somewhat, and honestly me and Forbes are the closest replicas you can get to be honest. We are two of the best defensive fighters in the game and neither one of us have ever been knocked out. So needless to say we’re doing something right.
A potential Paulie vs. Amir fight in May is also a great addition to the second quarter, I don’t care what people say about Khan, he has never seen a pure boxer like Paulie, and its going to be hard in my eyes for him to win this fight. I think I am onboard with everyone else who doesn't care about the heavyweight division at this time. The weight class has become so anemic that I can’t stand to watch it anymore. We also have Pavlik vs. Martinez on tap, which may end up being the best fight of the second quarter. I'll break down Pavlik-Martinez will discuss that more in the next edition of Shay Day.
To round out the first quarter we have Pacman vs. Clottey, which is the super fight in Dallas. Just having that fight in Cowboys Stadium is an exciting event. I believe Clottey will rise to the occasion and do his thing, I don’t know if he has enough bullets in the clip to beat Manny, but it will be a great fight. The Super Six continues to impress.
You have got to give Showtime a big round of applause in making this tournament. My fight to watch in the second stage is Ward vs. Green, which is a great fight. Andre has grown so much and is so athletic that it's hard to see him losing this bout, but then again you have Green who does have punching power in both hands. Very had to call this one, but I am going to side with Andre. You must commend promoter Dan Goossen for the way he brought Ward along. A good job on his part.
Also the Dirrell vs. Abraham fight is one with a lot of uncertainty regarding the outcome. I can see Dirrell outboxing him and keeping him at bay with his jab and athletic ability. Abraham is one tough nut and has devastating power in both hands. It should be a great test for young Dirrell.
I think I am onboard with everyone else who just skims over Vanes when it comes to fighting big names? The Ouma fight proved he is not ready.
Stay tuned for some great interviews coming your way. We already have one of the best women to ever to grace the sport of boxing, Anne Wolfe on board. The USS Cunningham stopped by and paid us a visit. The Magic Man, Antonio Tarver, came through and taught us a few new tricks. And to round it all out, we will be profiling the life and career of one of the best guys in the sport, Joe Quiambao. Remember, this is my two cents. God Bless.