In this weeks ‘Left-Hook Lounge’ we take a glimpse at few topics that remain heavy on the minds of fight fans around the globe. Oddly enough, this weeks mailbag steers clear of the De la Hoya’s, Pacquiao’s, and Mayweather’s of the world; instead substituted by a host of fairly new names with just as much to prove. Making the mailbag is rising star Alfredo Angulo, Darchinyan, Dawson, and DeMarco, among others.. There is one name on the list that needs little introduction, (Judah), but judging by the recent fan response, lets just say his home city isn’t the only place in need of a jacket, as many have cooled to the once hot slick southpaw. At any rate, we kick things off in Dallas, Texas, with a fan who wanted to know the following:
M. Conyers (Dallas, TX): With Ricardo Mayorga stepping aside I hear Alfredo Angulo will take on Danny Perez. Do you see this as a wise move by his camp considering Perez’s experience?
Vivek W. (ESB): No! Not at all. I didn’t think the initial move to pair him against a wild and seasoned veteran like Mayorga was a good move, but Perez is categorically in the same mold in many ways. There are a few subplots surrounding this fight that make it a bad match-making move in my eyes. I’ll start by saying that Angulo is a great rising talent, but his evolution could be tremendously stalled after a fight like this, win, lose, or draw. The first thing that sticks out to me is that Angulo has only fought 47 rounds (yeah, forty-seven) in his entire pro career. Of those 47 rounds boxed, ONLY TWICE HAS HE GONE BEYOND FIVE ROUNDS. Some may not see this as an issue, but time and time again we continue to see the value of solid experience when presented in a fighter conditioned enough to actually use it. Three fights immediately come to mind; Hopkins/Pavlik, Berto/Collazo, and Mosley/Margarito. With Pacquiao and ODH, it was a none factor because the guy with the less experience had advantages everywhere else. In this case, Angulo has the power to sting Perez, but in 39 fights, the guy (Perez) has only been down once that I can remember of (against Primera in ’04). If this fight was taken by his camp to gauge his ability to go the distance against a guy he probably won’t knock out, I think that’s wise in a sense. But if he (Angulo) thinks this will be another ‘lay down’, I don’t see it; and the fact that he has a new opponent at the last moment won’t help either – ask Kimbo Slice! So we’ll see what happens but if Angulo is derailed in this fight, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
Shawn Jeffers (Baltimore, MD): I’ve heard that Zab Judah is being considered to face Carlos Quintana. What are your gut thoughts on that fight?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think it’s a somewhat quality fight, in the sense that both guys know their window of opportunity to earn a seat at the big welterweight dance is quickly closing. Some may question how Zab was even able to get this fight after so many losses and meltdowns, but it all comes down to the fact that no matter what, he’ll talk a lot which helps sell tickets, and he’ll perform adequately until his will is broken. Styles make fights, and this fight could very well prove it. Both men are southpaws so there’s no advantage there. The reach is the same but Quintana does hold a 2-inch height advantage. When you consider Zab’s speed and relatively good power, along with the fact that Quintana has OK power but won’t be able to throw flush powershots against a moving target like he was able to land against a slower, bigger target in Paul Williams, it could be a pretty interesting fight. I don’t lean in either direction at this point, but I’d be lying if I said it isn’t a fight I want to see.
Farrel W. (Charlotte, NC): How would you rate the Antonio DeMarco after his performance against “Kid Diamond” last Saturday night?
Vivek W. (ESB): I think the sky is the limit for the kid. I really do. The “Kid Diamond” fight was a good step up in opposition for him, and despite taking a few shots, he performed well. He proved that he can take a shot and land more. His footwork could use a little help (not that it was bad – I’ve seen far worse). His speed is very good, his power is outstanding, his precision is extremely accurate; I really liked what I saw. One of the best things I saw in his performance was his ability to change his gameplan and still find success. That’s a fundamental element to evolving as a fighter. Anyone who has seen him before knows that he typically fights a more combative fight. Against “Kid Diamond”, he picked his spots and controlled his aggression. When you consider how long it took guys like Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton to learn that, it’s pretty impressive that this guy has learned it prior to becoming a champ. His only loss came very early in his career and at this point he appears to be evolving very well. I wouldn’t rush to get him in the ring with anyone too salty just yet, but I’d love to see where this guy stands in about 2 years from now. He’s definitely on his way based on what I saw recently.
Tarek Ahmed (Bronx, NY): Do you think fight fans will see Vic Darchinyan go up in weight? If so, who would you most want to see him face?
Vivek W. (ESB): There are a ton of fights I’d like to see Vic in. I think he’s a great talent and I think this is a guy who has earned a spot somewhere on the sports mythical pound-for-pound ledger, although I’m not sure he cracks a top 5 just yet. Penelosa would be a good fight. Some continue to yell for a possible Marquez or Vazquez fight with him. Personally, a fight I’d love to see (but don’t see happening anytime soon) would be a showdown between Vic and Juan Manuel Lopez. Lopez is still a bit raw but his pure fundamentals, speed, and power I think would give Darchinyan all he could handle; yet Darchinyan’s power I think would travel north in weight with him and possibly give Lopez a few issues as well. Once again, there are a number of fights that would be great for Darchinyan, but from a styles standpoint, Lopez is the one I’d like most. Speaking on behalf of the average fan, I think anyone of the ‘EZ’ boys would make for a hard fight. LopEZ, MarquEZ, or VazquEZ.
Brent S. (Carol City, FL): What’s the best fight out there for Chad Dawson now that Calzaghe is officially off the radar and out of the sport?
Vivek W. (ESB): I can’t say that I know the best fight for him out there, but I know it isn’t Antonio Tarver. I’m not quite sure why that rematch was made, and to be honest, the only appeal I see in that fight that gives it ANY intrigue is the fact that Tarver is pretty much a king of the rematch. In his career so far, he hasn’t had two bad nights against any man, so for that reason I’ll tune in. I respect Tarver greatly, and the fact that he bothered to take a rematch against Dawson, yet he never uttered the name Hopkins again says that he and his camp see something to exploit. Dawson will need to bring his A-game again or this will quickly become a trilogy waiting to happen. Another controversial win for Dawson won’t help his cause at all. Relative to the best fights out there for him, I don’t know why there’s no real buzz mounting to see him face Hopkins. Those are the two best fighters in the division, with Glen Johnson being the lone exception. If Dawson doesn’t give Johnson a rematch – which I don’t see happening – Hopkins is the only other name that makes sense. I hope his ‘radar’ detected that, for nothing else makes good sense at this time.
(Got questions or feedback?: Vivek Wallace can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and 954-292-7346, follow more of his work at 8CountNews and The Examiner, or show some love at Myspace).