by Jim McGrady
With our two headlining players unavailable for the holidays, The Boxing Tribune digs deep into it’s double A farm system for the best, semi-reliable, middle reliever available (yours truly), to hold things over until our star closer returns next week to close out the year. Seriously, it’s cool to sit at the head of table even if the slow fight week brings little to bitch about…I’m sure I can find something.
It’s been over a week since Adrien Broner lost, for the first time, to Marcos Maidana. If you’re unsure of who Maidana is, well, he’s the guy that actually won the fight. While the boxing media blitz has focused around Broner, his comeback, his mental state, his list of future opponents, etc., etc., Maidana’s went largely unnoticed. Shit, the fight’s brought on more talk about Floyd Mayweather Jr. than it has for the guy who won.
Broner earned his beat down, as well as the outpouring of non-affection directed towards him after the event, but enough is enough. Marcos Maidana is the new world champion, and he should be the topic of discussion rather than be cast aside ala Zahir Raheem (following his 2005 victory over Erik Morales). The guy’s a workhorse; the type that’s busted his ass through the highs and lows of his career and he’s earned his time his the spotlight. We should give it to him.
Roy Jones Jr. (57-8, 40 KO’s) fought again this weekend. The soon to be 45 year old future hall of famer made his second trip to Moscow to win a lopsided 12 round decision over Frenchman Zine Benmakhlouf (17-4-1, 8 KO’s), a guy that wouldn’t have made it through the ring walk if he met Jones 11 or 12 years ago. The victory earned Jones a fringe cruiserweight title, and brought us one step closer to the former pound for pound great meeting up with former UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva in a crossover bout that’s spoken of for years. Silva (MMA record: 33-5, 26 by stoppage) is set to rematch Chris Weidman for the UFC middleweight title on December 28th, and if he wins, he wants Jones next.
We saw this circus unfold once before; at UFC 118, when former multi-division world champion James Toney, 16 years and 60 pounds removed from his best fighting days, met Randy Couture in the octagon under UFC rules; Toney submitted in the first round. This match-up however, would be under professional boxing guidelines, and though Jones best days are 10 years behind him, he’s still in top physical condition and would have an obvious advantage over Silva, who went 1-1 (both fights ending by stoppage) as a professional boxer in bouts that took place seven years apart.
Oddly enough, this bout interests me; it’ll give Jones a nice payday and a return to the spotlight, even if it is a UFC spotlight. After the debacle that Couture-Toney turned out to be for boxing fans, we’re entitled to get even.
A huge hole was left in the heavyweight division last week, when WBC champion Vitali Klitschko (45-2, 41 KO’s) announced his retirement to focus on a career in politics. Klitschko’s WBC title has been vacated with Chris Arreola (36-3, 31 KO’s) and Bermane Stiverne (23-1-1, 20 KO’s) being ordered to face each other for the strap, the winner possibly to face Wladimir Klitschko (61-3, 51 KO’s), who holds four world title belts, in a heavyweight unification bout.
Say what you will about the Klitschkos, but I’ve actually come to appreciate them over the years: they lend consistency and stability to an otherwise unstable division. They fight who they’re told, and beat them in dominant fashion. The last thing we want to see is a splintered heavyweight championship with titles bouncing around like the WWE. So here’s to hoping that Wladimir gets a shot at the new WBC titleholder because until someone rises up to beat him convincingly, he’s the guy I want with the unified heavyweight crown.