Ring of Fire: Calderon Won't Retire, Fury-Rahman Close, Big Weekend Coming

No Country for Old Junior Flyweights

Despite back-to-back knockout losses and, frankly, a few years now of declining performances, 36-year-old former junior flyweight and strawweight world champion Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon is not planning to retire. He feels as though despite the KO-3 loss to Giovani Segura on Saturday, he "fought smart," and can still sell tickets as one of the bigger names in boxing's two lowest weight classes.

While Segura is likely contemplating a move to 112 pounds or perhaps a fight with Roman Gonzalez at 108, Calderon is being advised by both his manager and trainer to return to 105 pounds. Their concern is that at 108, you get fighters who rehydrate to 120 pounds or so, while Calderon doesn't put on that weight. They've experienced this against Segura (121 on Saturday to Calderon's 113) and in the past against Hugo Cazares, who is currently the top super flyweight in the world.

It's a valid reason to go back to 105, and if he's going to fight, returning to strawweight is probably the best idea. But I still think anyone who can punch is going to give him great trouble from this point on, and I don't expect a ton out of Calderon's remaining career. There are guys he can beat, but I doubt he's looking for easy fights. At 105, the ruler is Nkosinathi Joyi, who I would have to call a massive favorite over Calderon, and then you have guys like Raul Garcia and Kazuto Ioka, among a lot of other good fighters. Calderon doesn't move the way he used to, and stylists like him get hit hard by age. When you can no longer avoid all that which you used to be able to avoid, you get hit more. And when you get hit more than you used to, fights start looking a little different. It's simple and plain and just a reality. He's never going to be the fighter he was, but retirement doesn't come easy, so I just wish him all the best. Anything he does from here on out is padding from a historical sense. In his prime, which was long and fruitful, he will always be one of the best pure boxers I ever see.

Tyson Fury to Face Hasim Rahman on April 16

Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com reports that a deal is very close to match UK heavyweight prospect Tyson Fury (14-0, 10 KO) against former world champion Hasim Rahman (49-7-2, 40 KO). The fight would take place on the Khan-McCloskey bill on April 16, as that show needs some help on the card with Macklin-Gevor off (more on that in a moment -- kind of).

It's an interesting fight, which is about the only time I'll say that about Hasim Rahman from here until the end of time. Rahman is 38 and calling him a shell of his former self would be too nice to be considered honest, but he'd be by far the biggest name on Fury's sheet, though I hesitate to say the best fighter. I wouldn't make Rahman any big favorite over John McDermott at this stage.

I would still expect Fury to win purely on activity, unless he is for some reason frightened into a standstill. Rahman is s-l-o-w these days and not even close to his post-Lewis peaks, let alone his one incredible career night. Facts are facts: promoters and fighters and managers and matchmakers and trainers and some pundits all love to say "He (or I) beat a former world champion," and they love to pick the bones of willing aged fighters who have little or nothing left. That's what this fight would be.

Stieglitz-Gevor: A Romantic Comedy

You know those movies where two people get dumped, and their ex-partners get together, so they form some kind of pact to spy on them or mess with their relationship, so they can get back together with the ones who rejected their love, but they fall in love with each other instead? That's kind of what Robert Stieglitz and Khoren Gevor are doing this Saturday. Stieglitz was set to face Dimitri Sartison, who pulled out of the fight, and Gevor was supposed to fight Matthew Macklin on April 16, but Macklin pulled out of the fight. I don't know if Sartison and Macklin are going to romantic dinners or Saturday afternoon shopping trips together, but Stieglitz and Gevor will fight on April 9.

This Weekend's Guaranteed Event Coverage

  • Friday, 6am EDT: Hozumi Hasegawa v. Jhonny Gonzalez, Takahiro Ao v. Humberto Gutierrez, Toshiaki Nishioka v. Mauricio Javier Munoz. The main event is tremendous on paper and a toss-up, Ao-Gutierrez is a matchup of top 10 guys at 130 pounds, and Nishioka is the world's best at 122, but I'm not sure that fight will be shown live. It's always a scramble to find a good feed of the Japanese fights, but I've yet to fail. Knock on wood. Any of you early risers with some time to spare should come on by. (Nippon TV)
  • Friday, 11pm EDT: David Lemieux v. Marco Antonio Rubio. Late start this week for FNF, but Lemieux is worth it, and this is a credible fight. (ESPN2 and maybe ESPN3.com)
  • Saturday, 9pm EDT: Erik Morales v. Marcos Maidana, Michael Katsidis v. Robert Guerrero, Paul Malignaggi v. Jose Miguel Cotto, James Kirkland v. Nobuhiro Ishida, Danny Garcia v. Nate Campbell. I've definitely made my mind up. I'm biting the bullet and going in for the PPV. Woo hoo. (HBO PPV)

There may also be something on Saturday afternoon for the Sky show (Stuart Hall v. John Donnelly), the Stieglitz-Gevor fight on SAT1, or maybe just a catch-all for the Saturday afternoon people.

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