Showtime is putting together a four-fight card for June 2 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with the Antonio Tarver vs Lateef Kayode and Peter Quillin vs Winky Wright fights moved from May 26, and David P. Greisman of BoxingScene.com reports that a good 154-pound title fight between Austin Trout and Delvin Rodriguez is also being discussed for the card, though Showtime will neither confirm nor deny that fight or the fourth fight on the show.
Andre Ward said recently that his return is happening on June 2, but he mentioned the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The last time he fought in Carson, he didn't bring many fans along, as Arthur Abraham's Armenian supporters seemed to be the majority of a fairly small crowd.
Trout (24-0, 14 KO) recently signed with Al Haymon, which in his case is a brilliant move (actually, it's very smart for any fighter, I shouldn't say "in his case"), because promoter Greg Cohen just doesn't have the oomph to get Trout the push he deserves in a lot of ways. A fight with Rodriguez (26-5-3, 14 KO) makes plenty of sense for both, as they've earned their places but don't have power promoters getting them into the big fights. It's a really, really good fight.
It also means that if these are in fact three of the fights on the four-fight bill, Al Haymon has a fighter in every single one of them thus far (Tarver, Quillin, Trout). Haymontime continues to grow.
Trout is coming off of a pretty terrible win in November over Frank LoPorto, who had no business in the ring with him. That wasn't Trout's fault, and the end result was just me begging for him to get a fight that was representative o his ability in the ring, and Rodriguez would be that guy. Rodriguez, of course, defeated Pawel Wolak on the Cotto vs Margarito card in his last fight, and their first bout won the majority of Fight of the Year awards for 2011.
Now before I come off too cynical and pessimistic about this, let me make one thing really clear: I absolutely fucking love that Showtime is putting together a four-fight TV card. Frankly, when you give me four fights, I lose my concern over what they are. Maybe it's just me. I mean, I don't want straight-up garbage, but none of these fights are garbage. This is exactly the sort of card a Winky Wright return belongs on, for instance, and Tarver vs Kayode is a fight that makes sense for both of the fighters and for the network. There's nowhere left for Kayode to go but a shot like this -- either he proves he's a player, or he proves he's not. Tarver wants to fight so he's going to fight.
These are things that are going to happen. Putting them all together for one big night of fights sounds good to me. Best handling of the situation, I think. Four-fight cards, as I've mentioned before, just make me happy. That's why I go in for the PPVs like this weekend's -- and to not pay extra for a show of about the same quality, if not better? That's great.
I do shudder at the thought that a Ward tune-up main event would mean that Andre Ward, Antonio Tarver, and Winky Wright are all on the same show, but I'm trying to be a shiny happy person about this, so I won't mention the potential bore factor. Oh beans, I did it.
But seriously, I love the card, love the idea, and hope it becomes regular.