Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 28th
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boxing-fighterSometimes a fight comes along and eliminates both combatants from future gain.  Usually it is a draw or close fight, and it is not always legitimate.  Indeed, when Cus D'Amato used the Eddie Machen-Zora Folley draw as an excuse to have his champion Floyd Patterson avoid both men, it was a cowardly move.  However, when Ray Mancini and Hector Camacho fought to a close split decision, it was a comment on how neither were the same fighter they had once been.

For Antonio Tarver, he turned pro at the late age of 27, and has not been in too many grueling wars.  He has not been the picture of activity, however, and the resulting gaps, as well as division hopping make it hard to gauge how far one has fallen at age 43.  Tarver can still expose many prospects at crusierweight, but why?  The money in that division is in Europe, as are the few in the division who would probably beat him.  If he wants to face Flores and Jones for a kind of Western Hempsphere tourney, that is fine.  There will be guys like Ryan Coyne, Guillermo Jones, and Kayode for him until he turns 50.  Yet, Marco Huck and Yoan Hernandez should be avoided, if Tarver is not going to do any better than he did Saturday night in his draw with Kayode.  

Meanwhile, Lateef Kayode has not scored a kayo in his last 4 fights, which would not be a problem if he were a polished boxer, but for a man who is nicknamed, "Power", the holes in his game become wider with each fight.  I don't even think Don King's WBA beltholder in Jones will avoid him... even if Jones' once a year schedule might mean Kayode will die of natural causes before getting a shot.  Denis Lebedev will likely call out Tarver next, as his MO has been to call out old American champions, once they are already exposed.

As for Winky Wright, the logical conclusion to his career was the Paul Williams fight.  However, Williams was an emerging star at the time, and one could argue that was Wright's first clear cut loss.  Quillin is still unproven, and Wright officially looked shot.  It could have just been rust, but Oscar de la Hoya's performance against Pacquiao could have just been weight-drained.  The point is moot.  After you've already accomplished all you're going to, who cares?  If you don't look good, for whatever reason, quit.

Austin Trout did nothing to further his case for a fight with Canelo Alvarez.  He has fought twice in Alvarez' native Jalisco, once beating Alvarez's brother Rigoberto.  It would be a belt unification, and Alvarez would be favored.  It sounds like a fight Canelo would want.  That's why Golden Boy will never let it happen.  Granted, after Kirkland priced himself out, Trout had a chance, but he would have had to do the exact opposite of what he did against Delvin Rodriguez.  He would have had to have a war, where both fighters were down, and he came from behind to win a KO.  That would have made him a marketable exciting fighter, and made him look vulnerable enough.  Instead he gave us a dull decision win, and we will now likely see both he and Carlos Molina ducked, in favor of someone completely undeserving.

The fights that took place next door to the campus of my alma matr, CSU - Dominguez Hills have not made stars out of anyone.... but a few guys moved forward.  maybe on some nights, that is all you can hope for.

Chris Strait
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