Don King Promotions has finalized the undercard for the January 19 pay-per-view fight between an old Roy Jones, Jr., and the twice-retired Felix Trinidad, and to be quite blunt, it's looking like another turd of a show for 50 clams.
Look, I want to see Devon Alexander, too. He is King's top prospect and one of the most exciting prospects out there, and hopefully within time he'll inject the very top-heavy 140-pound division with some life. But against DeMarcus Corley? On a pay-per-view? I'm paying to see your standard prospect v. veteran fight?
The 33-year old Corley (31-7-1, 17 KO) hasn't won a fight since 2005, and is 3-6 in his last nine fights, dating back to his split decision loss to Zab Judah in 2003. After Judah, he was soundly beaten by Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and has also lost to Miguel Cotto, Junior Witter, Jose Alfaro and Dairo Esalas (on November 30) in that time. The first four losses are to top fighters; the latter two, especially the last one, not so much. Corley is now a gatekeeper.
And it's not that I don't think Alexander-Corley is a good matchup for Alexander. He should win, Corley still has a little bit of rub left to give, and it's a fine step up in competition. But I don't want to pay for it. I want to see that fight on Vs. or ESPN2.
That's the opener. In what should be the second bout of the evening, Roman Karmazin (36-2-1, 23 KO) takes on 32-year old Congo-born, Atlanta-resident Alex Bunema (28-5-2, 14 KO) in what should be another easy win for Karmazin. Past a win over Vince Phillips in 2005, there is nothing to speak of on Bunema's record. It's a sham of a fight.
Then, there's King's continuing fascination with Andrew Golota, who turns 40 tomorrow (Happy birthday, big guy!). With two TKO wins over Jeremy Bates and Kevin McBride in his 2007 comeback, Golota now takes on Chicago's Mike Mollo, who also has a TKO win over McBride on his record. The 27-year old Mollo is a fairly fun heavyweight, as he comes to fight, and Golota likely will as well. It might even be a good heavyweight slugfest, but the bottom line is, this is another fight people shouldn't have to pay for. Mollo is a largely-unproven commodity, and he's 27 years old. I'm glad he's getting the chance to fight Golota, in what is really a Chicago style fight all the way, one that should be main eventing the Windy City instead of taking place in New York, but that's Don King for you.
To sum up: Alexander-Corley makes sense, but shouldn't be on pay-per-view. Karmazin-Bunema is a joke that shouldn't be on pay-per-view. Golota-Mollo is potentially entertaining, non-essential heavyweight fare that shouldn't be on pay-per-view.
Don King just kills me. It's not that I hate him the way some people do, but he's a relic of a bygone era, and thank God that era is over with. He's promoting what really boils down to an exhibition fight in the main event, a bout that is being contested almost solely to make money. No matter what happens, it doesn't make Roy Jones any more "back" than he was for beating Prince Badi Ajamu or Anthony Hanshaw, and it doesn't suddenly make Tito Trinidad a contender. Trinidad is fighting far past his natural weight at 170 pounds, and Jones, as much as I love him, hasn't been interesting in years. And would anyone be at all surprised if Trinidad retired for a third time immediately following the fight?
It is a fight I want to see, yes. And I understand why it's on pay-per-view, as both are still big names and Trinidad's second return is a fairly big deal, particularly to his diehard fans. I expect the Garden to rock for the main event if they can unload those obscenely overpriced tickets.
But it's also a fight that I think really needed a promising undercard. They didn't get it. And with King at the helm of the matchmaking, it's no surprise.