With all the recent talk about negotiations, contracts and deadlines, you’d think boxing was a study of legal briefs and court orders instead of the business of fighting. But, take a deep breath, count to ten and come back home. Boxing is not about two prima donnas in a “he said-he said” hissy fit; It’s about climbing in the ring and actually performing your craft.
For those fans sick of all the recent action that has been taking place outside the ring, the next two weeks or so should cleanse your palate and put the focus back where it belongs.
It starts this Saturday, July 31st, as Juan Manuel Marquez clashes with Juan Diaz in a rematch of 2009’s Fight of the Year. Both Marquez and Diaz are coming off embarrassing losses at higher weights, but are now back at their optimal weights and determined to seize control of the division. Aside from being a guaranteed war, this bout is crucial for the lightweight division.
On the undercard of Marquez-Diaz, we have Robert Guerrero-Joel Casamayor, Rocky Juarez-Jorge Linares, and Daniel Jacobs-Dmitry Pirog — all true crossroads, “must win” bouts. If there’s only one pay-per-view buy on your budget for the rest of this year, this should be it.
The following week, on August 7th, HBO brings us a doubleheader of new guard talents vs. old school pros. The main event features one of the brightest young stars in the sport, Devon Alexander, as he puts his his junior welterweight belts on the line against former world champ, Andreas Kotelnik. The last time we saw Alexander, he put on a beautiful boxing display before knocking out iron-chinned Juan Urango in a title unification contest. This could be a prelude to Alexander vs. Timothy Bradley and you can bet Alexander is aiming to make a point.
However, the opening bout may steal the thunder as young gun and defending IBF Light Heavyweight champ, Tavoris Cloud, takes on “The Road Warrior” Glen Johnson. Cloud is a true banger; Johnson is a hard-edged pressure fighter. This one has Fight of the Year candidate written all over it.
Then, on August 14th, also on HBO, we get a showdown of the two highest-ranked light heavyweights in the world as “Bad” Chad Dawson takes on Jean Pascal in a bout to determine who sits atop the 175 lb- class. If you like speed, precision and true craft, this one will definitely please you.
Also within this period of time:
Outstanding bantamweight prospect, Chris Avalos, gets his showcase on Showtime’s ShoBox on August 6th. Chris Arreola makes his return against Manuel Quezada on ESPN2, August 13, and there will be plenty of solid action all around on Fox Sports en Español and Telefutura.
So, If you’re tired of talking about promoters, deals and commissions and just want to get back to the business of boxing, then sit back and enjoy the next two weeks.
After a LONG, frustrating summer, you’ve earned this.