April 23rd ESPN PPV Is Just What Boxing Needs

24.03.05 - By Darrell La Montre: On April 23rd, ESPN will be holding its first pay-per-view fight card at a very reasonably priced $29.95. Not only is the price of this pay-per-view appealing to boxing fans/consumers, but there is a huge qualitative disparity in regards to the fights being offered on this card, as opposed to most of the previous pay-per-views that have been priced at astronomical fees of up to $54.95. We’ve grown so accustomed to coughing up fifty bucks for essentially one potential good fight, and having to sit through the undercard fights that should be sponsored by Nyquil.

Once in a while they’ll feature a potentially great upcoming fighter against a pathetically overmatched foe, producing an exciting knockout. Normally, however, those kinds of fights/fighters are featured on regular HBO or Showtime. Then, after they’ve gotten to championship level, they become the main event on one of those high priced Pay-Per-Views that I alluded to earlier, supported by weak, boring fights.

Of course, we know why this is. The powers that be figure, “Why offer great fights with good-great fighters on an undercard when that could be a $40-50 pay-per-view in an of itself?”

This Pay-Per-View, however, is an anomaly. Hopefully, this will spark a new trend in the boxing world, and the consumers will finally get a little bang for their buck. With the exception of some decent Don King PPV’s, up until now, the only bang for the buck that we’ve gotten is when ordering a porn flick on the Spice Channel. On April 23rd, the fights that are being offered are:

Antonio Margarito (31-4 22 ko’s) vs Kermit Cintron (24-0 22 ko’s) WBO 147lb title
Juan Diaz (27-0 13 ko’s) vs Ebo Elder (22-1 14 ko’s) WBA 135lb title
Shane Mosley (39-4 35 ko’s) vs David Estrada (18-1 9 ko’s)
Jameel McCline (31-4-3 19 ko’s) vs Calvin Brock (24-0 20 ko’s)

As far as predictions for these fights are concerned, starting with the first fight (Margarito vs Cintron), I’m going with Cintron in this fight. I think this fight will be extremely interesting, and a potential war!! Margarito is a very exciting fighter, and like most exciting fighters, his defense is not exactly air tight. Daniel Santos (a limited fighter) was nailing Margarito with counter punches in their fight. Margarito (who I believe is a knockdown virgin) will taste the canvas for the first time against the prospect Cintron. This fight should be over inside of 6 rounds. Cintron is a murderous puncher, and probably should be fighting at 154lbs. He will be a full- fledged Middleweight 2-3 years from now.

I expect the Diaz/Elder fight to be kind of a chess match early on. Look for Diaz to figure him out fairly quickly. Diaz is a great fighter, and I expect him to either stop Elder, or to win a comfortable unanimous decision. Elder was stopped earlier in his career in the first round by a guy named Ubaldo Hernandez who had a record of 15-8-1. Need I say more?

Mosley vs Estrada will be a good confidence booster for Mosley. Estrada will have trained his butt off, and will be in tip to shape. Mosley will most likely stop Estrada inside of 6 rounds. Look for Mosley to try to make a statement that he is back and ready to rule the 147 lb division. Personally, I feel that Mosley’s best days are behind him. He can still beat a lot of top fighters, but I think he would lose to Tszyu, Judah, and Mayweather. Estrada lost to Ishe Smith back in ’03. If Mosley loses to Estrada, he might be relegated to trying out for the second season of “The Contender”.

Finally, the Brock/McCline fight should be a good, solid test for Brock. Mcline is coming off his razor thin loss to Chris Byrd. McCline is an excellent opponent for Brock because he has been in with solid opposition, and is similar in size to Heavyweight Champ, Vitali Klitschko. I expect this to be a very competitive, exciting fight. This could go the distance, and I expect Brock to win 7 rounds to 5. McCline is on the decline, and if he loses this fight, he will be officially a gatekeeper in the Heavyweight division.

The true winners on this night will be the fans because finally we will be treated to four great fights, featuring upcoming prospects, champions, and potential future champions facing solid, hungry opposition. Kudos to ESPN for coming out swinging with such a great fight card for their first pay-per-view. Let’s hope it’s contagious.

Article posted on 24.03.2005

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