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The View From Across The Pond: April Highlights

Overshadowed by #Maypac, some of April's US bouts still make the mouth water.

So massive is #Maypac that every card before the May 2nd mega-fight pales under its all-consuming shadow.

Nonetheless, there are some tasty bouts coming up in the weeks before that here in the great boxing Mecca that is the US of A. Here’s a rundown:

Just this past Saturday night at the Brooklyn Barclay’s Center in the second of NBC’s lavish Premier Boxing Champions programs, middleweights ”Irish” Andy Lee and Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin fought to an uncontroversial split-decision draw.

The fight was to have been for Lee’s WBO belt, but Lee failed to make the weight so it became a non-title affair.

Both fighters gave each other a taste of canvas with Quillin’s blows looking the more hurtful. But the Chicago-born fighter seemed to let Lee off the hook and “squandering” the fight according to several observers.

In the night’s headline fight, Puerto Rico’s Danny “Swift” Garcia battled to a majority victory over Lamont “Havoc” Peterson from Washington DC. Though neither Garcia’s WBA or WBC light-welterweight titles, nor Peterson’s IBF version were up for grabs, the fight, called for NBC’s public viewership by the mellifluous Marv Albert and superstar pugilist Sugar Ray Leonard, was a mini-barnstormer. Garcia easily won the early rounds and Peterson came late but not sufficiently so to sway the judges.

And so this coming Saturday night’s Showtime encounter (April 18th) at the StubHub Center in Carson, California between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Chicago-based Pole Andrzej Fonfara.

Fonfara lost his WBC light-heavy championship bout to Canada’s Adonis Stevenson by unanimous decision 11 months ago, while Chavez needs little introduction. This will be Chavez’s first fight under Al Haymon’s banner. It’ll be interesting to see if the prodigious eating that has pushed Chavez out of even super-middleweight contention has kept his fighting abilities intact.

For this reason, Fonfara – not the sternest test available – will at least show Harmon if the 29-year old Mexican has what it takes to challenge Stevenson, another Haymon fighter.

Meanwhile over on HBO the same Saturday night - top-flight boxing fare from two venues - one in New York the other, Texas. In the NY bout, at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, we’re promised an all-out war with the two most aggressive punchers in the jr welterweight division – if not any division – butting heads, so to speak.

Argentine Lucas Matthysse, nicknamed ‘La Maquina’, has won all but two of his 36 fights by KO, while his opponent Ruslan Provodnikov, “The Siberian Rocky”, has knocked over 17 of 24. Those numbers speak for themselves, but whether the bout will reach quite the Himalayan-like pugilistic peaks of Corales – Castillo 1 as some, including co-promoter Oscar De La Hoya, believe, remains to be seen.

The other action on HBO’s Boxing After Dark ticket that Saturday night is at the University of Texas' College Center in Arlington featuring and BWAA (Boxing Writers of America Assoc) 2014 fighter of the year Terence Crawford taking on Puerto Rican Thomas Dulorme for the vacant WBO light-welterweight title.

27-year old Nebraskan Crawford goes 27-14-0 and carried all before him last year – taking Ricky Burns’ world lightweight title in Scotland by unanimous decision last March and defending it v. unbeaten Cuban Yuriorkis Gamboa and then Raymundo Beltran of Mexico.

The 5’ 10” Dulorme, two inches taller than Crawford, has one loss on his record. That was a 2012 seventh-round TKO courtesy of Luis Carlos Abregu. Billed by as the then 16-0 Dulorme’s “coming out party”, the Puerto Rican’s protective corner threw in the towel - somewhat precipitously, some thought - after the hard-hitting and wily veteran caught their charge with some nasty flak. That 'loss' shouldn't detract from what is likely to be another humdinger from HBO.

HBO stays center-stage the following Saturday, April 25th, with Wladimir Klitschko’s latest defense of his world heavyweight titles, this time against Bryant “By-By” Jennings at The Garden in New York City.

Unbeaten Jennings, with 10 KOs in 19, fancies his chances against the 3 inches taller, all-around bigger and heavier Ukrainian legend – as have a previously unsuccessful 63 others.

Instead, the Philly-born challenger is likely to be spending much of the bout at the end of the Ukrainian's long, formidable broom-handle jab – but, hey: stranger things have happened than the quicker Jennings ducking underneath and testing the resilience of the big man’s whiskers.

Word has it that for Klitschko the bout is an opportunity to re-connect with an American audience; not least thanks to his wife and mother of his baby, diminutive Nashville tv show star Haydn Panettiere. It remains to be seen if Mrs Klitschko will drive a brand new audience to watch her 39-year old hubby at the office.

And those are my highlights of April. Some tasty appetizers before May 2's main course, but just appetizers all the same.

The Journalist

Writer: Stan Wenners Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday April 13 2015

Time: 7:00PM


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