Cheers and Jeers: The Good, The Bad, and The Really Bad

10.12.05 - By Gabriel DeCrease: Cheers to…Floyd Mayweather for finally inking a deal to fight Zab Judah. This showdown will finally answer some looming questions about how good Mayweather really is, and should prove to be the best, and most lucrative, way to simultaneously satisfy his critics and his fans.

Jeers to…Floyd Mayweather for leaving behind unfinished business with Ricky Hatton at 140-pounds. Floyd’s layover in the junior-welterweight division was too short, and everyone wanted to see if the guy who was wobbled by DeMarcus Corley could withstand “The Hitman’s” brutal, nonstop assault. It looks like the world will never know, as the chances are slim that Mayweather will drop back down in class.

Cheers to…Jean-Marc Mormeck and O’Neil Bell for putting it all on-the-line and signing to unify the usually fractured and ailing cruiserweight division. This fight should be the first classic the class has seen since a prime Evander Holyfield was slugging it out with Dwight Muhammad Qawi.

Jeers to…Don King for keeping Roman Karmazin out of commission for five-months and then pitting him against a highly-overrated Alejandro Garcia. Yes, it is a unification match, but titles don’t make a fighter, and Karmazin’s career is marked by wasted time. He needs big fights against top-opposition. Karmazin wanted to wage war with Ricardo Mayorga, but I think King wouldn’t risk derailing the big-dollar fiasco that is yet to come between Mayorga and Oscar De La Hoya in May 2006.

Cheers to…Ike Quartey for coming back stronger than anyone expected after a five-year layoff. At his best, “Bazooka” was a terrific fighter who was a credit to the sport in every sense. He looked surprisingly sharp in his wins over Verno Philips and, most recently, Carlos Bojorquez. It is great to have Ike back, and I wish him the very best of luck as he punches his way through the 11th hour of his career. Quartey vs. Vargas II anyone?

Jeers to…James Toney for dropping out of his scheduled fight with Rob Calloway the moment he sniffed at the crack at an alphabet strap. Wasn’t it Toney who said that he was not defined by titles, and would not be deterred from his chosen path by them either? Time is of the essence for the aging “Lights Out,” but at this point, considering his aversion to conditioning, staying busy is the best way to stay ready for a title shot.

Cheers to…John Duddy for coming along nicely and avoiding the pitfalls of being a highly-touted, super-popular prospect. He is not fighting punching bags to give himself the chance to show off for his boosters. And he is not jumping up in class too fast to cash in on the public’s expectations that he will someday rule the division. I expect big things from Duddy, and from his countryman Matthew Macklin. A battle between these rugged, hard-punching Irish middleweight prospects would make a great show.

Cheers to…Marco Antonio Barerra for making his play to be the first Mexican fighter to hold world titles in four weight-classes. His title fight with Jesus Chavez in March will be his first as a lightweight.

Jeers to…Marco Antonio Barrera for making his first fight at lightweight against the dangerous, heavy-handed Jesus Chavez. Did “The Baby Faced Assassin” learn nothing from watching his rival Erik Morales get smoked by Zahir Raheem when he attempted the same feat? It seems clear to me that neither Barrera nor Morales have any business fighting at 135-pounds, but if Marco is bent on making history he should test the waters before he dives in headlong.

Article posted on 10.12.2005

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