Ronny Rios stayed unbeaten with a win in Anaheim on Saturday. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Once again, not a whole lot went down on a major level in boxing this weekend. The Friday card from Japan has been recapped, so if you missed that one, check that out. Here's what happened on Saturday, including the return of James Toney (that's at the bottom, so if you're here because you're a Toney fetishist wanting to read about his recent fight, just skip down there, I won't be mad at you).
Edgar Sosa UD-12 Wilbert Uicab: Uicab held the WBC Silver flyweight title for a bit after upsetting Edrin Dapudong in 2010, and if you care to know how serious the WBC Silver titles are in some special cases, he once defended it against a guy who was 12-16 coming into the fight. In November he went to Japan for a real WBC eliminator and lost a decision to Toshiyuki Igarashi, but apparently that's not what the WBC really wanted to see, so they gave Uicab this FINAL eliminator against former junior flyweight titlist and sanctioning body favorite Sosa. Sosa won on scores of 114-111 across the board, despite being knocked down in the first round. Uicab was down in the sixth, and also lost a point int he fourth for throwing Sosa. Igarashi has been sitting around since November, while Sonny Boy Jaro got a title shot against Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in early March. To everyone's shock, of course, Jaro won. Jaro vs Igarashi would make sense, with Sosa waiting in the wings, I guess, but what about Pongsaklek? I guess they could always just make more titles. Sosa is now 45-7 (27), while Uicab drops to 33-7-1 (18).
Humberto Soto UD-10 Claudinei Lacerda: Soto was getting in a little tune-up for his June 23 fight against Lucas Matthysse on the Ortiz vs Berto undercard, and won as he was supposed to do. It does make sense, as Soto hadn't fought since November, and whatever I might say about his general level of opposition, he does fight frequently and is used to being busy. Sitting seven months before fighting someone who can actually beat him would have been unwise. Now we wait to find out if Soto actually goes through with the fight. Soto is now 58-7-2 (34), and Lacerda falls to 14-3 (10).
Dante Jardon RTD-7 Berman Sanchez: Jardon is another WBC favorite and a popular young fighter, and deservedly so since he's a lot of fun to watch. He's beyond "flawed" though -- he was stopped in three last time out against Kyohei Tamakoshi, and he's going to be stopped by a lot of guys who aren't very good. It's highly unlikely he winds up a legitimate top player in any weight class. He's currently fighting at 130, and despite losing his last fight, the WBC blew the dust off some vacant title they had lying about (WBC FECARBOX title) and put it on the line here. Sanchez, a Nicaraguan living in Costa Rica with a mostly paper record, went down in the first. But coming back from a loss, Jardon certainly could have fought someone worse. Jardon is now 20-2 (18), with Sanchez now 26-4-3 (18).
Ronny Rios UD-8 Guillermo Sanchez: Water-treading win for super featherweight (maybe featherweight) prospect Rios, who took scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73 in this one. Rios, 22, doesn't remind me of Eloy Perez so much in style as he does in prospect push. He is an OK fighter. When Mayweather calls Cotto "solid," I'm reminded of how enormous Mayweather's ego is. Mayweather's a great fighter, Cotto's been a great fighter who's probably still at "very good," and a guy like Rios is "solid." Like Perez, we've watched him get better, because at one point both kind of looked like phony prospects. But neither are phony. They're just not great. Not every prospect is going to turn out to be Mayweather or Cotto or Sugar Ray Leonard (hot news! Sugar Ray Leonard says this about Mayweather-Pacquiao! Sugar Ray Leonard remembers his wins but never his losses! Sugar Ray Leonard actually not wild about sugar! Sugar Ray Leonard gets too much media coverage is my point!). Some of them are going to turn out to be honest, solid fighters who never threaten to be serious contenders. That is the vibe I get from Rios, but I could be wrong, as I have been before. Rios is now 18-0 (8), and Sanchez dips to 13-6-1 (5) with his fourth straight loss. He's now 2-6-1 in his last nine.
Hugo Centeno Jr TKO-4 Gerardo Cesar Prieto: Centeno is a junior middleweight prospect, 21 years old, managed by Joel De La Hoya. He's still in the baby stages as a pro. Prieto hasn't beaten anyone who's won a fight in the last seven years. Centeno improves to 13-0 (7), and Prieto slips to 7-13-1 (0).
Andy Kolle UD-8 Michael Walker: There was a brief period where Michael "Night Stalker" Walker of Chicago was seen as a strong, sturdy, tough opponent for young fighters. I think we need to stop with that and look at him as an Auto-W, because that's all he is now. He's 0-12-1 over his last 13 fights, and 1-13-2 in his last 16 outings. His one victory was a majority decision over the zombified corpse of Antwun Echols back in 2008, which came eight months after he drew with Echols. Between those fights, he lost to David "The Destroyer" Lopez. Since then, he's lost to Danny Jacobs, Derrick Findley, Fernando Guerrero, Andy Lee, a fat Ricardo Mayorga, Matt Korobov, Derrick Findley again, Billy Lyell, Alfonso Lopez, Durrell Richardson, DonYil Livingston, and now Kolle, and he drew with someone named Orphius Waite (7-4-2, 5 KO) on March 30, so Kolle was fighting him on a week's rest after an eight-round fight. Those two fights took place in Wisconsin, as seen here, and the last was in Merrillville, Ind., which is right down the road from me and part of the Northwest Indiana "Chicagoland" area. Neither state is exactly known for serious athletic commissions. Kolle is now 25-3 (18) but probably is going to stay stuck at Minnesota club hero forever, unless he wants to lose some bigger fights and become an opponent instead of big man on campus who can get laid at any Ramada in the tri-county area, and Walker is 19-13-3 (12).
James Toney RTD-5 Bobby Gunn: James Toney last fought in November, as he traveled all the way to Russia to embarrass himself over 12 rounds against Denis Lebedev. That fight was at cruiserweight, with Toney weighing in at 199¼. For this fight, against "bareknuckle boxing" """"champion"""" Bobby Gunn, who hasn't fought in real boxing in three years, Toney came in at 248 pounds on the scales. We're talking five months, and the man put on what you can call 50 pounds. Gunn allegedly broke his hand in the fourth round. I say allegedly because as far as I'm concerned, any news coming out of a James Toney vs Bobby Gunn fight in Southaven, Miss., is merely alleged. This was the first fight I ever rated "Zero Stars" on our schedule. Toney is now 74-7-3 (45) and gets his first stoppage win since totally whomping the great Matthew Greer in 2009, and if you want to go back further than that, it's 2003 when he stopped Holyfield. Gunn is 21-5-1 (18) and will surely return to the world of fist-fighting and pretend it's noble or artful or anything other than a couple of guys punching each other for no particularly good reason. I'll tell you something else bugging me: It seems like every time someone has to write about the latest Toney farce, they include that he surely has a Hall of Fame resume. Maybe he does, but so what? It's almost like they're apologizing for him. I can usually find something romantic and cool in a story like Toney's, but I struggle with him. More and more, he's Stanley Roberts instead of someone great.