I'll be a guest tonight at around 10pm ET on MMA Nation with Luke Thomas. It's been a while since I'd done any radio spots and now I get two in a week. The world just can't get enough of my velvet voice, I guess. I'm guessing we'll talk a bit about Darchinyan-Perez last night and maybe Pacquiao-Mosley. But I don't know. I fly by the seat of my pants. If you click that link I just linked (the radio show, not Elvis Costello) then you can find out how YOU can listen in. I also would like to say I regret not dropping any F-bombs on Mauro Ranallo's show a few days ago. I forgot that was satellite radio and I can do whatever I want short of ceremonial animal sacrifice. (Or can you do that on satellite radio?)
Vic Darchinyan was his old ferocious self for at least one more night, beating Yonnhy Perez around the ring for five rounds before winning on a technical decision after an accidental headbutt opened a cut on the Colombian. We also saw Robert Marroquin lose his undefeated record in Oklahoma, while Tom Zbikowski and Matt Korobov trucked on.
Darchinyan will be moving up in Monday's Bad Left Hook rankings update, but how far? He came into the fight ranked eighth, with Yonnhy Perez at No. 4. It's still a really competitive division and no matter how I reshuffle, one through eight are very good fighters, although Fernando Montiel might not be long for the 118-pound ranks.
Another quick note about last night's fight-related TV: I have to be really honest. That episode of Fight Camp 360 was dull as dishwater, and it appears that that's the consensus among most who watched it. If there's such a thing as two guys being too nice to make compelling TV, pitting the affable personalities of Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao on opposite sides might be it. These guys are too nice to even fake all that mean-mug, "this time it's personal" stuff Oscar de la Hoya used to push. While I appreciate Mosley and Manny "keeping it real" and not pretending to be guys they aren't, it doesn't really make for an interesting TV show. Maybe the Pacquiao camp should go into their familiar pretend panic about how awful camp is going, or is it too late to go to that this time?
Brick will surely have the full TV schedule up soon enough, but I wanted to take a quick glance over the fights this coming week that we'll be covering live. There's nothing major on U.S. TV (no Showtime or HBO fights, and Friday Night Fights is mediocre), but there are a lot of fights happening of some consequence.
The week gets off to an early start on Wednesday, as Sky Sports has John Simpson (22-7, 9 KO) defending the British featherweight title against Stephen Smith (11-0, 6 KO) in a rematch. The two fought last September for the Commonwealth featherweight title, with Smith winning a competitive split decision. In December, Simpson upended then-unbeaten Martin Lindsay for the British belt, which for those who don't follow UK boxing is the step up from the Commonwealth title. Heavyweight prospect David Price (9-0, 7 KO) faces American veteran Raphael Butler (35-9, 28 KO), too. Can you believe Butler's only 27? We'll have live coverage, because mid-week fights are a blast.
On Friday, we'll have live coverage of both Friday Night Fights and Solo Boxeo Tecate. On FNF, Carlos Molina (17-4-2, 5 KO) makes a quick return to the ring against Allen Conyers (12-4, 9 KO). It's not much to look at the records, but Conyers returned to the sport in January and beat up a previously unbeaten James de la Rosa, so never say never. Solo Boxeo has a fight I'm genuinely interested to see, as Peter Quillin (23-0, 17 KO) takes on tough Jesse Brinkley (35-6, 22 KO). I'm very much looking forward to seeing how Quillin looks, as he was once one of my favorite prospects before injuries knocked him off course.
Saturday's got a couple more fights we'll cover live. First on Sky Sports, Darren Barker (22-0, 14 KO) faces Domenico Spada (32-3, 16 KO) for the vacant European middleweight title. Interestingly (well, kind of), the last time Barker fought was also for the vacant European middleweight title, and he won a tougher-than-expected fight against Affif Belghecham. That was a year ago. Barker rival Matthew Macklin picked up the belt after Barker vacated it by pulling out of a fight with Macklin, as Macklin beat Shalva Jomardashvili for the vacant strap. Macklin defended once, against Ruben Varon, and has also vacated the belt. So now Barker's going to fight for it again. Barker and Macklin and that belt should get a room.
Saturday night on FOX Sports Net, there are a couple of little guy fights from Polanco, Mexico. Raul Garcia (29-1-1, 17 KO) takes on Rommel Asenjo (20-2, 16 KO) for a 105-pound trinket. In the evening's other fight, Colombia's Jesus Geles (12-1-1, 5 KO) rematches Ramon Garcia Hirales (15-2-1, 8 KO). At least I think that fight's going to be on FSN, and apparently my cable package has like three options for me to watch FSN fights, so if it is, and I've got it, we'll try to cover it. It's solid stuff and a chance to watch some of the better fighters in the tiny divisions.
After the jump: Link Parade! and the Song of the Sunday, and I just remembered it's Easter. Happy Easter!
- Tom Zbikowski felt his performance last night was his best. Tommy Z also says he wants to fight in May and again in June before returning his focus to football.
- Kevin Mitchell of The Observer at Guardian.co.uk says that "those who care about (Ricky) Hatton's physical and mental health should be angry with Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky's supposed good friend who, as his business partner, is the loudest voice urging him to make what would be a doomed comeback."
- Recently released FBI files reveal that Rocky Marciano faced death threats before his 1954 fight with Ezzard Charles.
Song of the Day
OK, OK. I promise to eventually get off the New Orleans vibe. It's just what I'm stuck on right now. But "Treme" is coming back on HBO for its second season premiere tonight, and just about a week ago I finally got around to watching all of the first season. That's my kind of show and it led me to finding a giant compilation some dude put together of all the music on the show, and I'm straight up obsessing over the sounds.
Today's pick is "Shame, Shame, Shame" by Smiley Lewis (1957).