By William Trillo
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…
As I made yet another road trip from Southern California to Las Vegas to cover fight cards on successive nights I had no idea what was in store for this weekend. On Friday night there would be a small show at The Hard Rock Casino that would be televised by ESPN 2 and on Saturday night we had a big PPV card that would take place in Mandalay Bay’s Event Center.
On paper it looked like any other back to back Las Vegas weekend.
First, a small show of no names to pacify the fight crowd getting into “Sin City” early. That would be followed up on Saturday night by a show full of boxing’s finest and rising Super Stars.
As it turned out, Friday nights show promoted by Millennium Events was a can’t miss event while the show promoted by Top Rank on Saturday night was simply a miss.
The ESPN Friday night show featured lightweights Michael Katsidis vs. Albert Mensah. Not exactly household names but anyone “in the know” in the boxing community would tell you any fight Katsidis is in is sure to be a shootout. Yet, of those scribes who will be happy to tell you they are the ones “in the know” I saw exactly none of them. With the exception of a couple seasoned and humble boxing journalists the media in attendance consisted of a few youngsters and the “hated” internet press. I am sure I can speak for all of us that were there by saying from top to bottom this was as good and entertaining a card as we have been to in a long while.
For those of you who missed the fights for whatever reason, if you need notes or photos from the event…sorry, can’t help ya bro. You snooze or booze…you lose.
Saturday night was a different story all together. The lights were shining brightly for this high profile card and everyone who felt it was time to see and be seen were in attendance.
And why not?
I mean this was a fight featuring a guy who just threw away any chance at a World title 24 hours before the fight because he was too reckless, careless and/or clueless. Whatever the case may be Mr. High Profile was 2 pounds too fat to win the title and the other guy was someone most of us had never heard of. That alone begged for this card to be billed, “A Recipe For Disaster!”
Surely the guy too fat too care about becoming a champion would clean up on the guy no one had ever heard of. Or that was the feeling at ringside…I mean that’s what someone told me.
As it turned out, the fight was not going to go down as an all time classic but the fact of the matter is the guy who nobody ever heard of was schooling Mr. Too Fat to Win a Title.
Funny thing though, a lot of the guys who didn’t cover the fight card the night before, you know, the ones who know way more than I do, they were already scoffing at the way Abril (Mr. No Name) was fighting and they said that style did not deserve to get the win. Personally, I thought that was an absurd way to look at the fight and scored it clearly for Abril at 117-111.
What came as a huge shock to me is that 2 of the 3 judges saw the fight just as the “know it all” scribes and Rios (The Fat One) scurried away like a rat with the victory.
I guess that explains why those “In The Know” guys always get better seats than me.
Had it not been for the Alvarado vs. Herrera barn burner this “big” card was far from stellar.
Mercito Gesta showed me nothing and they need to stop with the left handed Filipino just like Manny angle. The only Manny this guy is like is standing next to a couple of guys named Moe & Jack.
In all honesty, the off TV bouts were not bad but since most of the seats in the house were either empty or already folded up at the time…well…if a tree falls in the forest….yada yada.
So the question to ask is, did we learn anything from this weekends Las Vegas fights?
Of course we did.
Or should I say I did.
When it comes to boxing you can NEVER replace having a professional work ethic.
You either have the heart if a lion or you don’t. You either want to give it your all just because you are a fighter and this is your passion or you want to do just enough to get by because the big promoter has dangled a carrot in front you, promising you the world once you get past this one.
As a fight fan it’s pretty easy to know when you paid to watch the latter. The fight will be less than exciting and when is all said and done the judges scorecards will read JUST LIKE THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO.
Fortunately on this weekend we had another card chock full of lion hearted warriors that gave boxing fans a brief glimpse of what used to be the norm.
Oh, how those nights are sorely missed.
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