Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Everybody Asks Me

In happier times Jose Luis Castillo was a young and outstanding fighter.
Apologies to the esteemed Steve Farhood who, when he was at the helm of KO magazine many years ago, penned a column with this same title. But they say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.....

Everybody asks me and I tell them that the ESPN2 card taking place at the UIC Pavillion in Chicago on Friday night is one that is fraught with danger for the participants. Scale challenged Jose Luis Castillo, still punching away at a faded 39 years-old after 411 rounds, 76 fights and 23 years in the pro game is scheduled to meet Antwone "The Truth" Smith in a welterweight bout. Castillo has put together a two fight win streak and he could even upset Smith, but that doesn't mean the Illinois commission should have licensed him to fight. It's time for Castillo to ride off into the Mexican hinterland.

Everybody asks me whether Cory Spinks, facing off against Carlos Molina on the same Friday night card has a chance to make it in the future and I say probably not. Spinks, known as "The Next Generation" is now fighting in a generation that has passed him by. At 34-years-old, the slick southpaw  has been around since 1997 as a pro, but during many of those years he squandered his amazing talent by not showing the dedication required of a top professional prizefighter. In recent bouts, his chin seems to have betrayed him and he's a loser in four of his last seven starts. Molina is a feather-fisted pedestrian at 20-5-2 (6)KO and Spinks very well may win this one (the winner is promised a title shot) but it's likely time that Spinks figured out something else to do with his life.

Cory Spinks with father Leon (left) and uncle Michael (right) was once a top dog backed by Don King.
Everybody asks me and I tell them that I'm not disappointed the Paulie Malignaggi vs. Shane Mosley welterweight bout fell apart before it was really put together. Boxing doesn't need these types of fights - where an old geezer (in this case Mosley) comes out of retirement for a title shot that he didn't earn. Apparently Malignaggi was unhappy with his piece of the pie and decided to pursue other options. Where this leaves the 41-year-old Mosley (who is 0-3-1 in his last four) is anyone's guess, but look for him on an upcoming  Golden Boy Promotions card.              

Everybody asks me and I tell them that I am disappointed that the scheduled Feb. 9th Danny Garcia vs. Zab Judah bout has been postponed because of a rib injury suffered in training by Garcia. After an explosive press conference to kick off the promotion of the fight a motivated Zab was ready for this one and his condition was perfectly on track. He has matured as the years have transpired and with his blend of quickness, speed and movement coupled with Garcia's exciting style - well,  it would have been a cracker. I fear that Garcia and or Judah may suffer a letdown as the result of the postponement and that when they eventually meet at the end of April we won't see as good a scrap as we otherwise would have.

Richard Schaefer and Bernard Hopkins calm the bespectacled Garcia and an irate Judah.
 Everybody asks me and I tell them that if Ishe Smith was ever going to fulfill the promise that Fernando Vargas predicted for him many years ago that his perfect opportunity is when he meets "The Contender" alumnus and IBF 154-pound titlist Cornelius Bundrage on Feb. 23 in Detroit at The Masonic Temple Theatre. Back when he was on top, Vargas used Smith as a sparring partner and he was of the opinion that Smith was going to become the next big thing. For a variety of reasons, that didn't happen and in the past thirteen years Smith has had more than his share of highs and lows. However, this will be his first world title shot and he may have a chance because Bundrage is 39-years-old which is an age not exactly conducive to prizefighting.

Everybody asks me and I tell them that Freddie Roach is the perfect trainer for "Vicious" Victor Ortiz. Seems as though Ortiz, trying to come back from the broken jaw suffered in his loss against Josesito Lopez last June, has been working with Roach at the Wild Card Boxing Club in Los Angeles. It has been a coupling that has long been rumored and my feeling is that these two would be magnificent together as Ortiz is all offense all the time, whereas Roach isn't exactly a trainer that focuses on moving backwards or the fine art of ducking. Roach could make Ortiz even more explosive - if that's possible.

January 2013

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