For students of all aspects of boxing, this was a more interesting weekend than you might think. There was nothing televised in the U.K, so all of the televised boxing I paid attention to was in America.
Friday confirmed that Corey Spinks should throw in the towel, as he was unable to mount much of a challenge in his loss to Carlos Molina. Jose Luis Castillo should have retired already and hopefully after losing handily to Antwone Smith, that’s exactly what he’ll do. Saturday was the most compelling day of ‘The Weekend in BoxingTM,’ not only for the boxing on display, but also because of the subplot (unintentional, or not) of Golden Boy Promotions/Mayweather Promotions vs. Top Rank Promotions, featuring one of SMS Promotions’ top boxers, Andre Dirrell.
GBP continues to strike a very nice balance of quality and quantity with Saturday’s co-promotion with Mayweather’s outfit being no exception. On that bill, Mickey Bey Jr. triumphed in style, Frankie Gomez won convincingly and the Olympian, Joseph Diaz, looked clinical in his stoppage victory. Cuban prospect Luis Arias cemented himself as one to watch and Badou Jack knocked out his opponent. I also appreciated that this bill had a ‘who’s who’ of trainers working the corners. Floyd Mayweather Sr. guided Bey, Eddie Mustafa Muhammed coached Arias and Freddie Roach was orchestrating Gomez. The tribute to Omar Henry was also very welcome. To echo the traditional 10-count ceremony, R.I.P to Mr. Omar Henry and God bless. My condolences to his family and loved ones.
The Top Rank programme, which included the SMS Promotions signed Andre Dirrell, wasn’t televised where I live. Nonetheless, I made sure to take note of the very talented Andre Dirrell’s unanimous decision victory over my Ghanaian brother, Michael Gbenga. Apart from that bout, I don’t think I missed much from the houses that Bob and Curtis built.
Read on for the full ‘Weekend Round Up.’
FRIDAY 1st FEBRUARY (SAT. A.M. 2ND):
‘King’ Carlos Molina (21-5-2) vs. Cory ‘the Next Generaton’ Spinks (39-8-0). Light middleweights, 12 rounds.
-Carlos Molina can be described as a workman like boxer and he outworked Cory Spinks to a unanimous decision victory. Molina did benefit from some questionable refereeing, but he deserved to win against the underwhelming Spinks. Spinks has his fans and has mostly made them proud over the years, but he should seriously think about calling it quits. Judges totals were 120-105, 119-106 and 119-106, all for Molina.
Antwone ‘the Truth’ Smith (23-4-1) vs. Jose Luis ‘el Terrible’ Castillo (64-12-1). Light middleweights, 10 rounds.
-Jose Luis Castillo had a few moments in his loss to Antwone Smith, but they could not stop the much younger Smith’s march to victory. Smith’s rising up the ranks in the ultra-talented 154lb division will be a daunting task, but I wish him the best. Castillo has been a great servant of the sweet science and hopefully he will retire. Judges totals were 98-92, 100-90 and 99-91, all for Smith.
SATURDAY 2ND FEBRUARY (SUN A.M. 3RD):
Frankie ‘Pitbull’ Gomez (15-0-0) vs. Lanard ‘the Fightin’ Fireman’ Lane (13-3-0). Welterweights, 10 rounds.
- Frankie Gomez lived up to his nick name as he was very aggressive. The aggression was timed well enough that Lanard Lane wasn’t able to counterpunch him into oblivion like another of Freddie Roach’s charges. The bout started with Lane using the jab and Gomez throwing bombs. Gomez also utilised nice upper body movement through the course of the match. While he did let his hands go, the credible Lane was able to defend relatively well. Gomez certainly had enough success, in spite of Lane’s defensive tactics by working the body and using combinations. Lane also caught Gomez with some of his arsenal, but it wasn’t enough. The final analysis was that Gomez isn’t bad at all, but is quite hittable and not yet ready for primetime. Judges totals, in favour of Gomez were 98-92, 100-90 and 100-90.
Mickey Bey Jr. (19-0-1) vs. Robert Rodriguez (7-3-0). Super featherweights, 8 rounds.
-Mickey Bey Jr. did what he needed to do against the decided underdog, Robert Rodriguez. After controlling the first two rounds, the Floyd Mayweather Sr. trained Bey exploded in the third. First feinting with the left, then sending a blazing left cross square into Rodriguez’ face, Bey ended proceedings as he knocked out his unfortunate opponent.
Joseph ‘JoJo’ Diaz (2-0-0) vs. Jose Ruiz (2-3-0). Super bantamweights, 4 rounds.
- Continuing their focus on Olympic boxers, GBP showcased Joseph Diaz against fellow newbie, Jose Ruiz. The first round was characterised by both boxers measuring with the jab and Diaz was able to land a nice right hand follow before the end of the round. Round two saw Ruiz punching to the body and Diaz responding. Ruiz also connected a big right cross, which Diaz resolutely ate. Diaz then executed two lefts, in succession, to the body causing Ruiz to crumble in agony. To his credit he beat the count, but Diaz immediately went back to the body, this time with a right. Down went Ruiz with absolutely no will, or ability to rise prompting the referee to stop the bout. Diaz with the second round TKO.
Badou Jack ‘the Ripper’ (12-0-0) vs. Jonel Tapia (8-4-1). Super middleweights, 8 rounds.
- Badou Jack knocked out Jonel Tapia in the first round and hopefully overcame some of the negativity created by his last showing.
Luis Arias (2-0-0) vs. Joshua Robertson (3-1-0). Super middleweights, 6 rounds.
-Luis Arias is another product of what I consider to be on a per capita basis, the most talented boxing nation. Sporting a nice amateur background, Arias was in a different league from the game Joshua Robertson. Landing big combinations, mostly upstairs in the first round, Arias continued that in the second, except with increased focus on the body. Working downstairs and upstairs with equal ferocity, Arias beat up Robertson, who wasn’t even able to respond prompting the referee to stop the match. I would’ve liked Robertson’s corner to have thrown in the towel but I guess they wanted to give their man every chance.
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