Boxing can be a painful sport for fans. Not in the physical sense but in the time it takes to schedule meaningful fights. Boxing has a set of rankings much like other sports and champions in every division are supposed to be decided or confirmed at least once a year. Yet the time it takes for these rankings to really evolve is brutally slow.
Boxers are fighting twice a year and at best three times for the truly determined like Gennady Golovkin. Sadly it’s no surprise when a fighter only steps in the ring one time in the calendar year. When a fight is made like the Garcia-Herrera one last spring in Puerto Rico, it’s like the Seattle Seahawks facing the Jacksonville Jaguars; there’s an expected outcome that lacks hype and is meant for one side to stay sharp until their next marquee matchup. Barring an upset (which nearly happened in this case) no real progress is seen in the sport’s rankings.
As fans we’re subjected to the promotions and begin to believe in the extravagance of another Garcia-Herrera or Rigondeaux [vs Kokietgym] type fight because that’s all we’ve got. Cold War aside, more fights should be made with better competition. The latest example was announced today:
Sergey Kovalev’s return to the ring has been set for August 2nd against undefeated prospect Blake Caparello. The fight will be aired on HBO as part of a double header that will feature Brandon Rios. This will be the first fight for Rios since his loss to Manny Pacquiao last fall.
For Kovalev, his team had bigger names available than Caparello. To their credit they did try to make a fight with Adonis Stevenson last spring. No effort on K2’s part, Kovalev’s promotional team, was put into making a Jean Pascal showdown that could build an inevitable Stevenson fight. Pascal is the bigger name from Montreal, where Stevenson is based, and a crafty veteran in the division. Name’s like Cloud and Dawson have also been avoided as well.
For boxing fans this will be another stay busy card featured this summer. In addition, tonight you can also see Ruslan Provodnikov against Chris Algieri in what is expected to be practice for Provodnikov until a better fight can be made, possibly this fall.
Next week you’ll see a comeback fight of sorts for Robert Guerrero on Showtime and Martin Murray will again be in action against an unknown. Martin famously passed on a potentially huge clash with middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin, although some promotional details fueled that decision, a bad one nonetheless. So we’re stuck watching these top ten boxers fight in absolute duds.
Danny Garcia as mentioned early, has settled on working only twice a year and as of now is avoiding tough competition. Lamont Peterson is a ready and willing opponent with a championship belt to boot but probably won’t get the nod as Garcia’s next foe. A Matthysse rematch isn’t in the cards, or a mandatory defense against a dangerous Postol that could be made under a forced purse bid. Don’t get your hopes up for a Broner showdown either.
An unlikely set of PPV fights this summer in Canelo/Lara, and last week Cotto/Martinez has softened the blow to the stay busies. The rarely seen Gamboa will also graciously provide us with his presence after a year of inactivity. Ok, so I’m not excited for a bum to just show up and get a crack a Crawford when Crawford could be in a unification bout against a Vazquez or Abril.
Menacing inactivity and bogus matchmaking will continue to plague the sport for the foreseeable future. Uncertainty surrounds when another mega bout will be made. Fans to the sport that sluggishly carries on have no other option than to be excited for more of the stay busies. It’s better than nothing, right?