Last Night's Fights: Top Rank vs Golden Boy

Last night was solid. I was ticked at first to find out that these fights were simultaneous, but it worked out in the end, as I only missed a few rounds  of the HBO events while live blogging the Showtime fights. In the end, the evening wasn't just a battle between boxers but between networks and promoters. From what I saw, Showtime may have come out a little bit on top in terms of fight quality, but in terms of promotion, Golden Boy won the war of presentation.

I'm talking about the post-fight interviews, where Arum came off pretty awkward with his comment about a future fight between Cotto and Margarito being a big fight because it's a Mexican vs. Puerto Rican battle. He was right, of course, but the interviewer put him on the defensive. Arum couldn't have been very pleased with Margarito's performace. Although he won, the fight's net effect revealed some huge weaknesses in his chosen star. Margarito leaves himself open way too often, and he was getting beat soundly until Clottey broke his left hand. Only the most ardent Mayweather-hater watching that fight could come away with the impression that Margarito would beat him.

That fight is not going to happen, but it does sound like we have Cotto vs. Margarito to look forward to sometime in the near future--that is, if Margarito doesn't get beat first (which seems entirely possible). Luckily for Top Rank and Arum,  just as Margarito's stock probably dropped a notch, Cotto's went up. It was a riveting fight with a dramatic casebook ending--one that will deservedly be replayed for a long time in the run ups to Cotto's future bouts. Surely after last night Cotto has left no doubt about his lethal one-punch power.

Golden Boy also used the opportunity to promote a big future fight. In a staged but effective show of promotional force, Winky found himself surrounded by Shane Mosley and De La Hoya, and he made it clear (again) that he wants Oscar. Now I really can't imagine that Oscar didn't know he was going to say that in advance, and I doubt he would want Winky to talk about such a fight if they weren't going to make it happen. Couple this with the fact that Oscar recently said he would not be retiring after Mayweather, and I think it's pretty clear that this was their way of building buzz for something real.

I'm one of those guys that actually likes to watch Winky fight, and I would be psyched for this. Yes, Winky is no knockout artist, but his skills are pretty amazing to behold. I was happy to see Wright's increased work rate--the most punches he's ever thrown in a bout. Wright vs. Quartey wasn't the best fight in the world (it was too one sided), but I think Wright put on a far better show than Mayweather did against Baldomir, and he was almost as dominant too.

This respectful Winky Wright has certainly changed his tune since the days when he repeatedly called De La Hoya a coward for ducking him. But then again, what boxer close to Oscar's weight hasn't talked shit about him in an effort to get a match?  It's showbiz, and last night Golden boy came out on top.

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