Vitali vs. Haye, Cruz brings it, and more weekend news and notes

Nobody can accuse Cristobal Cruz of being boring. Last night, he defeated Jorge Solis in a definite fight of the month candidate, and a possible fight of the year candidate. Momentum swings and dirty tactics galore, but Cruz was able to come out on top. It's very rare for such a limited fighter to reach the level he's at, and it takes great heart and at least one extraordinary skill to get there. For Cruz, it's his workrate. The only other active fighter who has done as well with so little natural talent is Librado Andrade.
  • It looks like Vitali Klitschko vs. David Haye is a done deal.  We'll give this the full treatment at some point, but there have been so many rumors flying around on these guys that have turned out to be false that I'm loath to give this the full treatment until it's been more widely reported.  Hopefully this happens, although this doesn't excite me nearly as much as Haye-Wladimir.  Haye at least had a chance to knock out Wladimir.  I just don't see Haye being careful enough to avoid getting knocked out by Vitali for 12 full rounds, and I have yet to see Vitali hurt by anyone, including much bigger punchers than Haye.
  • Juan Manuel Lopez will face journeyman Rogers Mtagwa in his next fight.  I have no idea what Bob Arum is thinking.  Mtagwa is exciting, having won a war recently against Tomas Villa, and is rugged, but he's about 15 skill levels down from Lopez.  I was in the crowd live when Billy Dib destroyed Mtagwa, and Lopez is a LOT better than Dib.  A gimme fight is one thing, but this is just ridiculous for a pay per view main event at Madison Square Garden.  Yuriorkis Gamboa will be on the undercard, probably facing someone equally unqualified for a title shot. 
  • The IBO, usually not a sanctioning body to force anything, has ordered a rematch between Mundine and Geale.  As the first match was entertaining and made good money in Australia, it will probably happen.  Let's hope it can find a home in the US this time, even if it's just a pay per view internet stream.
  • On the Sturm-Gevor undercard, Sebastian Zbik defeated Domenico Spada to become one of Kelly Pavlik's mandatories.  Considering the current state of the weight class, I'm guessing Pavlik either vacates or moves up before ever facing Zbik.  
  • On the Darchinyan-Agbeko undercard, Steve Cunningham won a unanimous decision against Wayne Braithwaite, making him Tomasz Adamek's mandatory.  Can't wait for the rematch. The first one was a great fight. 
  • Speaking of Adamek, he TKOed Bobby Gunn in the 4th when Gunn refused to come out for the 5th round.  On the undercard, former "chinchecker" Curtis Stevens knocked out formerly undefeated prospect Piotr Wilczewski in a mild upset.
  • In Istanbul, Selcuk Aydin knocked out Sugar Jackson Bonsu in the 9th round.  The loss pushes Bonsu down to gatekeeper status, while the win pushes Aydin up into the third-tier at welterweight.  He could arguably be top 10, but guys like Delvin Rodriguez and Isaac Hlatswayo are probably still ahead of him.
  • Ivan Kirpa beat Miki Rodriguez to become Andre Berto's mandatory.  I don't understand why they make so many mandatories.  Luis Collazo is already Berto's mandatory, now he has a second?  Ivan the Terrible was once a promising prospect, but he's only fought four times in the last five years after losing to Bradley Pryce.  
  • Marco Huck will be facing Victor Emilio Ramirez for his cruiserweight belt.  Ramirez is probably lucky he still has a belt - he won by Alexeev having a gas out of epic proportions, and consensus was that he lost his first defense in a gimme fight.  Huck is a rising star in Germany, and if he wins, he probably becomes the biggest money option available for Tomasz Adamek.  On Friday Night Fights, BJ Flores mentioned that he was trying to get a fight with Ramirez.  Hmmmm, I wonder why Ramirez decided to go with the opponent who actually has a fan base?
  • N'dou beat N'dou to win the IBO welterweight title.  Lovemore won, that is.  It seems that Phillip was just too rusty to go hard with an experienced fighter for 12 rounds.
  • Check out the round by round coverage of Darchinyan-Agbeko for bonus coverage of Cristobal Cruz vs. Jorge Solis.  Cruz won a close unanimous decision in one of the best fights of the year, and probably the dirtiest fight this decade. 
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