The Welterweight Roshambo and Grumpy Old Men

By Michael Gonzalez


The Welterweight Roshambo and Grumpy Old Men

What’s with the welterweights?  All that talent and attention and they’re still trying to build fights up which never seem to go as planned.  As was the case with Antonio Margarito, falling short against Paul Williams when his next match would have been for big money and even bigger clout against superstar Miguel Cotto. 
Then there’s Zab “Supa” Judah, who had his breakfast eaten in his own backyard by lightly regarded at the time Carlos Baldomir, with the winner getting a crack at welterweight kingpin Floyd Mayweather Jr.  Well, “Supa” still got his shot (he always does). 
Now Margarito must detour through Judah while Cotto will face Alfonso Gomez, of Contender fame and for ending Arturo Gatti’s career, in a rumored twin-biller to build interest (when will they learn). 
This is “take two” in an effort to make this fight happen, which is no sure thing as Judah is world class dangerous when focused and Margarito is very hittable.  Also, as Yoel Judah, Zab Judah’s father and trainer says, “We from Brooklyn, we ain’t built like y’all.” 
I still light up when I think of the look on Don King’s face when Judah pinned the Baldomir loss on King’s promotional practices in the post fight interview.  It’s one of the only times you will catch King at a loss for words.
Paul Williams seemed set to put his WBO strap up against Kermit Cintron’s IBF welterweight title in a unification match.  Cintron was highly touted before being broken by Margarito in five rounds in 2005. 
The plan was for Cintron to get past tough guy Jesse Feliciano in a tune-up type fight that turned out to be anything but, as Cintron was visibly shaken not by punches so much as the pressure of the stubborn Feliciano (and the card was postponed, so he could have gotten out and taken the Williams fight, I’m just saying).  When Cintron, who has a history of hand problems, finally got him out he celebrated for a couple seconds or so, then rolled around the canvas clutching his paw as a futbol player would trying to draw a foul. 
The cynics saw this as a way out of the Williams fight, which worked out as Williams will now face Carlos Quintana, whose only loss was to Cotto.  Cintron was later seen on a video calling out everyone welterweight except for Williams, the cynics exalted a collective I told you so.
The combinations make this division a real-life roshambo; a rock, paper and scissors of sort. 
Not to mention everyone in the division is hoping to make f-you money in a match with Oscar De La Hoya that could net them more in one fight than most can ever hope to in a career.  This temptation is stagnating the division, and until De La Hoya decides or retires, it will lurk in the back of the minds of fighters and handlers.
Also adding to the posturing is Mayweather, who is now a card carrying crossover superstar.  He has insinuated retirement, pondered MMA, but has yet to acknowledge a threat in the division.  But the “Money” Mayweather brings to the table proves too tempting to those throwing rocks at his throne. 
When they start out they are as noble as Frodo, grateful and hungry, they’ll fight anyone, anytime.  But as soon as they gain leverage, it’s all Gollum.   
Grumpy Old Men
Let the old guys get down.  I’m up for this one; Felix “The right sends you to the hospital, the left to the cemetery” Trinidad vs. Roy Jones Jr., arguably the greatest athletic phenom to ever box.  Yeah, I know Jones has been knocked out and is 39, has lost some speed, which separated him from opponents.  And Trinidad hasn’t fought in years, the last time out a lopsided loss to Winky Wright in 2005, is 35 and fighting at a weight class and change above the highest division he ever competed in. 
I’m picking Jones because of his size, speed, and he’s not the one coming out of retirement (again).  But can’t wait to see el hijo de Cupey Alto try his damndest to connect with those sense separating shots in boxing’s Mecca, full of fans as passionate as he. 
They’re not impeding anyone’s progress and you don’t have to order the fight, but hundreds of thousands will and that’s why it’s taking place (you boxing junkies).  Not every card is make or break for boxing.  We can’t keep showing weakness, like a prizefight.  Just seeing who paid those outrageous prices for the front rows should worth it – 15 g’s baby, the boxing communities most ballinest!     


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