First things first, let’s get something out of the way: we know we made a huge mistake in not providing a weekend preview for last weekends eventful day full of boxing. We dropped the ball in not covering and previewing the Dereck Chisora/Vitali Klitschko, Cloud/Campillo and Williams/Ishida fights. Chisora put in an effort very few would have thought him capable of before the fight, with Vitali beginning to show his age. They can’t all be Bernard Hopkins now can they? Tavoris Cloud certainly stole one from Campillo, another case of ludicrous judging in the State of Texas. While we had it a close fight, the sheer volume of punches and crisp combinations landed by Campillo had him leading on our own scorecard as well as many others. The knockdowns in round one weren’t enough to convince us of a Cloud win, and certainly not by the 116-110 scorecard presented by one judge. Finally, Paul “The Punisher” Williams made a successful comeback with fleeting glimpses of the sort of style which at one time had many fight fans claiming he was one of the most ducked fighters in the sport. Points to Ishida for withstanding a pounding.
Moving on, the action being presented on HBO’s Boxing After Dark this weekend looks like one of the more promising cards they’ll present in the next few months. In the first bout of the night two undefeated fighters battling for the junior lightweight title. Eloy Perez is an undefeated Chicano fighter now fighting out of Salinas, California. Perez is known as a technically proficient boxer who lacks in KO power but makes up for it with speed. Surprisingly enough, he’s made it very clear in the press he doesn’t believe the fight will go twelve rounds.
His opponet and reigning champion, Adrien Broner, would certainly agree with that assessment although we have a hard time believing the arrogant Broner is thinking about anything other than another KO victory for himself. He’s coming off two very impressive victories, taking less than four rounds combined to bomb out two game opponents in Vicente Rodriguez and Jason Litzau. Perez is a different level though, a step up in class for a fighter who is still only 22 and looks to be one of the fight games budding stars. Perez, a one time sparring partner for Shane Mosley, has a slight edge in experience and is three years older than the champ but we have a hard time envisioning Broner not retaining his title here. If Perez can survive Broner’s typical early onslaught and take Broner into the championship rounds than we may seem what would surely be an upset, but we certainly would not count on it.
The main event for the evening pits For The Suits favorite, Marcos “El Chino” Maidana up against hometown boy Devon Alexander. This fight presents an opportunity for Alexander to prove himself at the level many believed him to be at before quitting during his welterweight showdown with Manny Pacquaio’s next opponent, Tim Bradley, complaining of excessive headbutts. It was dubbed a fight which would place the victor in some elite company. For Bradley it certainly did, but Alexander is coming off a controversial win against game Argentinian Lucas Matthysse. He needs a convincing win over Maidana here to take back his place in the welterweight division and prove he is still a viable title contender and top level boxer.
Maidana on the other hand has proved himself one of the toughest fighters in the welterweight ranks. Although his previous fight, an easy tuneup KO victory against Petr Petrov in Argentina, was a walk in the park for Maidana (as tuneups tend to be) he had just came off an exciting win over the legendary Erik Morales. When the Morales fight was first announced many expressed concern over the health of Morales, having been in so many wars and stepping into the ring with one of the hardest hitters in his weight class. Morales showed once again why he is so revered in boxing circles, putting up a great fight but Maidana was ultimately the victor on the night. It was just another night in which Maidana upped his stock in the welterweight ranks. He isn’t afraid to fight anyone and has proven it time and again. Alexander just may be another name to put on his list.
This could certainly end up being the classic boxer versus puncher matchup that has provided some of the most exciting fights in boxing history. We expect shades of Maidana’s fight with Amir Khan, with Alexander using his speed to keep away from the heavy handed Maidana and using that lateral movement as well as combination punching to his advantage. But Maidana was able to hunt down the much more talented Khan and hurt him and we expect the same in this fight. Alexander will likely start out quick but we see Maidana wearing him down before a late round KO. It will have to end that way because Maidana would be foolish to leave it up to the judges in Alexanders hometown and Maidana has said as much in the press.
For The Suits will be live tweeting between rounds during both fights. Head over to @forthesuits and join us on Saturday night.