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NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: QUICK (S)HITS

By Paul Magno | April 15, 2019
NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: QUICK (S)HITS

With a lot of little bits going on in the boxing world, here's a look at some random musings from a random weekend of boxing.

Random musings on a random weekend of boxing:

-- Predictably, Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Anthony Crolla was a stylistic mismatch that played out exactly how everyone knew it would. What an absolute waste of everyone’s time. Lomachenko, who is one of the very best fighters in the game and a generational talent, deserves much better than a bucket of chum splattered at his feet. 

And, believe it or not, there are people actually trying to defend Lomachenko-Crolla.

"But...But...Crolla is a former world champ! Plus, he was the WBA mandatory!"

Please...Crolla is a former world champ like Adrien Broner is a former 4-division world champ and, as for mandatories? Are we pretending that a guy like Lomachenko is at the mercy of the sanctioning bodies' whims? Again, please. This fight happened because it COULD and because everyone involved knew that fans would be back at the table regardless of the steaming bulldog turd slopped on to their plates this time around.

-- And what an indictment on the whole sport and its operating/business model that a fighter like Lomachenko CAN’T get real legacy fights.

-- What was the bigger disappointment: The Peter Quillin-Caleb Truax IBF super middleweight eliminator ending in a two-round No Decision thanks to an accidental headbutt or the fact that fans had to wait until 1 a.m. ET before seeing the two fighters finally enter the ring? The fight promised to be a good one and I was definitely energized to see a good, solid boxing contest where I wouldn’t have to be working around streaming service paywalls to catch a fuzzy glimpse of the action. But even I was getting antsy as the telecast dragged on and on. C’mon guys, tighten that shit up!

-- Instead of evolving as a fighter, Jaime Munguia appears to be devolving. The Mexican banger—who looked to be a shoo-in for stardom (and, yeah, it’s “shoo-in” and not “shoe-in”) back when he battered Sadam Ali to win the WBO junior middleweight title in May of last year—has looked increasingly flawed and vulnerable in each subsequent performance. Saturday night, he barely got by Aussie Irishman Dennis Hogan, who, to be brutally honest, should be easy prey for any real world class 154-pounder. A majority decision win, in Mexico, versus Hogan is not good and, throughout the fight, the Tijuana native showed huge deficiencies in handing anything resembling speed or movement. He did enough to win on my scorecard, but a real destroyer—as he was being pushed since that Ali win—would’ve torn Hogan to shreds within eight. Golden Boy and Zanfer have been wise to pull things back and lower the level of opposition since his bout with Liam Smith last July, but sooner or later he’s going to have to fight a real world class junior middleweight. Well, maybe not…the WBO is notorious for running interference for well-connected champs and allowing for all kinds of bullshit defenses. Hell, Joe Calzaghe got to the Hall of Fame, in great part, with the aid of the WBO’s conveniently bad matchmaking.

-- Two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields beat Christina Hammer to unify all four female middleweight world titles Saturday night on Showtime in a bout that was being billed as the most important fight in women’s boxing history. And it was a fight I totally would’ve watched if it weren’t scheduled up against two other cards. But I promise I’ll go back and watch video this week. I remember having a discussion with some crusty old-timers a few years back about Shields and saying that she would be a good little pick-up for Showtime and might make a few bucks as more and more women become vocal about their boxing fandom. I was practically laughed out of the room by the old codgers. But, yep, I was right. Shields won’t ever be a superstar in this business, but she’ll make a buck or two for a few people and if she can scale back the attitude, she could make a nice little sum with sponsorships.

-- In an IBF middleweight eliminator on the Quillin-Truax undercard, Sergiy Derevyanchenko beat former junior middleweight titlist Jack Culcay via unanimous decision. The former Olympic teammate of Vasiliy Lomachenko now moves into a mandatory slot for the winner of the upcoming Saul Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs bout. Because of the politics involved with multi-belt champions, it’ll be awhile before Derevyanchenko gets his shot, but he gave Jacobs a legitimate tough time when they fought last October and, stylistically, I think he’d make for a nice little contest with Canelo, too. 

-- Next week’s Terence Crawford-Amir Khan PPV has the stink of failure all over it. Directly scheduled up against the NBA Playoffs, MLB, UFC Fight Night 149 replays, and the free Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados card on Fox, it’s hard to imagine too many buys coming their way. I hate to root against Crawford in any way, shape, or form…but maybe if this PPV nonsense tanks, he can go back to being a main stage featured player on ESPN (and not their streaming app), like he’s supposed to be.

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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