Convicted Artist Magazine

Oct 02nd
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chris_straitJunior Featherweight (122lbs). It looks as if Steve Molitor will be getting his belt back, but much like Virgil Hill, he will only remain a big deal in his home region.  This is to his failure when taking on bigger names.  Hill, however, beat many good fighters, reigned for a very long time, and eventually did unify.  Hill has a potential hall-of fame career.  Molitor needs to do more than get his belt back against a fromer victim to get anyone to care.  Leaving the home-cooking of Canada, and maybe trying unification again soon would be a good idea. 

No, I am not talking about a match against Juanma.  That would likely end badly for him.  I mean with Nishioka, who is a rare Japanese fighter who is willing to leave Japan.  He has good power, and has fought twice in the U.S., once in Mexico, and once in France.  Nishioka has the pop to hurt Molitor, but maybe not the right style to get that power home. 
Poonsawat may have left Thaliand to win his belt from Ben Dunne, but dont hold your breath for it to happen again.  He will likely wait out Caballero's move, and take over as full WBA champ.  Vasquez and Marquez are likely both done with 122lbs, if not done altogether, after their 4th match.
In a perfect world, a 4-man eliminator: Juanma vs. Nishioka, and Caballero vs. Poonswat to determine the best, would be the way to go.  In reality, Caballero may have dropped the belt he won from Molitor, but this is the IBF we are talking about, so we all knew that would happen.  Barring a dual miracle in the form of Vasquez vs. Marquez 4 being a blowout, and the winner choosing to stay at 122lbs, Caballero has nothing left to prove in this division.  Juanma won't touch him with borrowed money, and the excitement is leaving for 126lbs.  Caballero should go with it.  Wilfredo Vasquez Jr. vs. Fonseca would also be a great all-Puerto Rican battle of undefeated prospects. 
Needing to exit: Israel Vasquez and Rafael Marquez, after one last hurrah.  Bernard Dunne did retire... good decision.
Bantamweight (118lbs). Gerry Penalosa is apparently still vital, while Morel is looking more ordinary.  A rematch based on a controversial result isn't always a good idea, but this one certainly calls for it.  A rematch between Perez and Agbeko would every boxing fan tuned in.  Montiel will likely be matched soft until a match can be made with whomever sits atop 115 when the smoke clears (Darchinyan, Donaire, etc.)  Up and comers like Abner Mares and Chris Avalos make this division exciting, if not riddled with household names.  Not to mention this is where Guillermo Rigondeaux should be, even if he will likely make a run at 122.  There are also underrated belt-olders like Anselmo Moreno, who seems to just now be peaking.
Needing to exit: Wladimir Sidorenko, Cristian Mijares.
Junior Bantamweight (115 lbs)
This division is focused on one potential match-up, and that is about all.  Darchinyan vs. Donaire 2.  To the surprise of many, neither Donaire's lack of decent opposition, nor Darchinyan's loss to Joseph Agbeko, has taken all of the luster off of this proposed match-up.  Everyone else of interest has pretty much left the division, or needs to leave boxing, period.  Nongqayi's win over Arce would be more impressive had it not been for Arce being completely shot.  A rematch between Nabuo Nashiro and Hugo Fidel Cazares may create some interest in Japan, but this division hes always been more interesting in the Far East anyway.  We are in to the first few years that this hemisphere was producing some waves... and not even from a Mexican fighter, but an Armenian and a Filipino... who are both English speaking fighters.  I am enjoying it, but a revolution it is not.  Both men will eventually move on to 118, but I hope they meet here, and round out an interesting few years for the West at 115.
Needing to exit: Jorge Arce
Chris Strait

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