“The most exciting fight I have called on HBO was the first meeting between Arturo Gatti and Micky Ward. When I stood up to do the post-fight on camera, my stomach muscles were tight and sore from the tension of watching them take their lives into their hands and trade shots.”
Hello everyone, I just wanted to start off this week’s newsletter with that quote because as I write this on Thursday May 18th, it is the 15 year anniversary of one of the absolute classic fights of a generation. The first meeting between Arturo Gatti and Mickey Ward. If you’re a boxing junkie, you’ll agree and this will act as a sweet reminder to revisit this classic. If you’re a boxing newbie, then watching this fight is homework assignment number one. And if you’re a half Irish, half Italian kid like me this fight wells up feelings of pride and admiration unlike any other. All in all, objectively I think this was one of the most iconic fights to take place during my lifetime, the war between Diego Corrales and Jose Luis Castillo in their first fight is the other classic from my lifetime that comes to mind.
So to reiterate your first boxing tl;dr homework
Homework assignment 1, grab the pop corn
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rHgB31jt4M (what the heck I’m including Corrales-Castillo I again here for assignment #2)
If you have time, pause now from reading this newsletter and dive into your homework, if not seriously save these two for later. Save your $1.50 on the Redbox (can’t believe they surged up $.50!) and watch these epic battles instead.
*Snapping back into the present reality* What else is going on in the boxing world in present time? After a lull last week, there’s actually a whole lot of boxing on TV coming at you this weekend!
Packed Upcoming Weekend Schedule
Why the boxing powers that be scheduled nothing on Friday, but instead jam packed everything head to head on Saturday is beyond me. I know this is an overwhelming amount of boxing to consume in one weekend, but if you are interested, I will to a tl;dr (truly a “too long; didn’t read” err too long didn’t watch!) on all of this weekend’s fights in a podcast that I will put out Monday morning at boxingtldr.com. I’m sorry I’ve been slow to populate the site with content, I’ve had some issues with uploading as this is still a new thing but the podcast episode will be there. Bear with me on the podcast format, which I will gladly take suggestions on as I experiment with the format, I’m still prototyping the concept.
Saturday May 20
At New York (HBO):
- Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz, 12 rounds, for Crawford’s WBO/WBC junior welterweight title
- Raymundo Beltran vs Jonathan Maicelo, 12 rounds, IBF lightweight eliminator
- Shakur Stevenson vs. Carlos Suarez, 6 rounds, featherweights
- tl;dr Terence Crawford, an Omaha native, is a superb boxer and probably-definitely the best at 140 lbs. Personally I thought he ought to be the next product for Top Rank to really go all in on and try to create the image of him as their “franchise player” in a post-Manny Pacquiao climate, hasn’t really happened. He’s a great boxer, dominant in his division, his only problem is he might be too humble. Him and Warren Buffet have kind of established a recent friendship. Wall Street Journal did a recent article, kind of a cute title, on the two. Check it out if you can get past the WSJ subscription paywall (MUST BE NICE! lol, send logins)
- Shakur Stevenson, if you remember is our USA Silver Medal winner in Rio who recently had his pro debut. On the fast track and staying busy with Top Rank in this his second fight.
At Oxon Hill, Md. (Showtime):
- Gary Russell Jr. vs. Oscar Escandon, 12 rounds, for Russell’s WBC featherweight title
- Jose Uzcategui vs. Andre Dirrell, 12 rounds, for vacant IBF interim super middleweight title
- Rances Barthelemy vs. Kiryl Relikh, 12 rounds, WBA junior welterweight eliminator
- Gary Antonio Russell vs. Jovany Fuentes, 6 rounds, junior featherweights
- Gary Antuanne Russell vs. Joshua Ross, 4 rounds, junior welterweights
- tl;dr That wasn’t a typo guys. Their dad actually named each one of them Gary. Stand out family in the amateurs for years. Most famous of them being the elder Gary Russell Jr. Holds one of the featherweight, ultimately not that interesting until this featherweight division with stacked talent starts seeing their title holders go at it against each other. Would like to see what he could do against Leo Santa Cruz, whom I’ve written about extensively in prior Boxing TL;DReditions, all of which are available for reference on boxingtldr.com.
At London (Showtime):
- Gervonta Davis vs. Liam Walsh, 12 rounds, for Davis’ IBF junior lightweight title
- tl;dr Gervonta Davis is an absolute beast. Age 22. Won the IBF junior Lightweight (130lbs) title in his last fight. First title defense for the young champion.
At Laredo, Texas (PBC on Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes):
- David Benavidez vs. Rogelio “Porky” Medina, 12 rounds, WBC super middleweight eliminator
- tl;dr this one should basically be a pass. Unless you don’t have the premium channels like HBO and Showtime, in that case this is your best bet! Cuz it’s the only one available on #freetv (semi-free*tv)
- Hassan N’Dam vs. Ryota Murata, 12 rounds, for vacant WBA “regular” middleweight title
- Ganigan Lopez vs. Ken Shiro, 12 rounds, for Lopez’s WBC junior flyweight title
- Juan Hernandez Navarrete vs. Daigo Higa, 12 rounds, for Hernandez Navarrete’s WBC flyweight title
tl;dr You’re not going to watch this one. It’s not even on tv in the US. I just wanted to bring attention to the name Hassan N’Dam. Fun fact, this French national was one of the two boxers in the Rio Summer Olympics that took advantage of the new IOC rule allowing professional boxers to compete in the Olympics in this new amateur-professional hybrid tournament format that they established for the first time ever last summer. I think that whole debate will be a future Boxing TL;DR article topic…
Prospect of the week
Hands down, its Gervonta Davis, check him out this weekend.Or if you can’t check out this youtube video