I think the title is pretty self-explanatory, but here are some reasons to save your money on Saturday night. To tell you the truth, I'm going to be saving mine. I will not be ordering this show.
1. Zab Judah v. Ernest Johnson on PPV is insulting
31-year old Judah, whose last credible win came in 2005 against Cory Spinks, is hardly a pay-per-view attraction anymore. 29-year old Johnson (18-2-1, 7 KO) is no threat to Judah. Johnson, nicknamed "Too Slick," has never beaten anyone of note, and his best opponent? Ernesto Zavala, probably, a wide eight-round decision loss. Asking people to pay money to see this fight on television is a slap in the face to boxing fans that are willing to pay premium prices for big fights.
2. Dmitriy Salita v. Derrick Campos on PPV is insulting
This was going to be Salita going up against titlist Andreas Kotelnik. Kotelnik pulled out. Square Ring, Jones' promotional company, had lined up feather-fisted Scot Willie Limond as a replacement. A lame fight that didn't belong on any pay-per-view, but at least Limond has been in against a few good fighters. Limond is out. Derrick Campos (17-5, 10 KO) is a 27-year old club fighter from Topeka. Asking people to pay money to see this fight on television is a slap in the face to boxing fans that are willing to pay premium prices for big fights.
3. Frankie Figueroa v. Emanuel Augustus on PPV is insulting
"El Gato" Figueroa, another of Square Ring's fighters, doesn't belong on pay-per-view. And no matter how much any of us respect Emanuel Augustus and some of the great fights from his past, he's 33 years old and a total journeyman at this point. His 38-29-6 record is a bit deceptive, but what isn't deceptive is that he's almost never beaten anyone that goes past being a gatekeeper or journeyman himself. This is, at best, a Friday Night Fights main event. Asking people to pay money to see this fight on television is a slap in the face to boxing fans that are willing to pay premium prices for big fights.
4. Roy Jones is not Roy Jones anymore
I genuinely don't see how anyone is picking Roy as a live dog in this fight. That is a "to each their own" situation, but really? Jones is 39 and it's been half a decade since he's beaten anyone that was (1) anywhere near his level, (2) in their prime, or (3) in their proper weight class. His last truly big win was Tarver in 2003, and that one had questions. Trinidad earlier this year was just a blown up welterweight who hadn't fought in almost three years. Someone looking for a vintage Jones performance need only look at that fight, where Jones felt Trinidad out, realized the man was simply too small to hurt him even if he landed decent shots, and then toyed with the smaller, rusty fighter as he pleased. Still, even when Jones was trying to look like he used to look, you could see the difference. Even the showboating looked creaky-legged and as if there was too much deliberate effort involved in making it happen.
5. Joe Calzaghe and Roy Jones are to blame for this card being what it is
Paying to see Calzaghe and Jones in a years too late battle this Saturday night will do one major thing: reward the two of them for putting together a card that should be rejected by every boxing fan. The two men admirably tried to put together a pay-per-view, world class card, and do it without any real input from major promoters. They enlisted HBO. Boxing's biggest American TV outlet is supporting the card, will send their commentators to likely be very real about the dreadful undercard, and HBO even went so far as to put on a "24/7" series dedicated to the event.
Tickets in New York City are colder than the proverbial witch's titty. There's a reason for it. These two men are Hall of Fame-bound fighters, but they are still very much learning the ropes when it comes to promoting. It shows. They were both delusional and narcissistic enough to think that their fight alone was good enough.
But you can't fool the boxing fans, I don't think. We may be a loyal breed, but we are not easily fooled, either. This is Calzaghe on a very mild decline -- which still counts him as one of the best fighters on earth -- against what I believe is a clearly washed-up Jones. They offered no other bang for your buck. Frankly, I'd find it easier to pay money to see only Calzaghe-Jones, and to keep the other three meaningless fights the hell off my television. We've seen some lackluster PPV undercards, but this is a new level for what is supposed to be a major, major event.
Their PPV will surely outperform Pavlik-Hopkins, the most recent of boxing's big-time offerings. It almost can't lose that numbers race, since Pavlik-Hopkins was a major disappointment to Top Rank, Golden Boy and HBO.
But unlike Pavlik-Hopkins, at least for my money, the fight has little intrigue at all. The fight doesn't feature one of the best young fighters battling a still-great, established veteran. To go with the times, Calzaghe-Jones is simply more of the same failed policies; two older fighters that are playing it safe. They'll get their money, they'll risk nothing in their legacies, and they'll always be able to say that they fought the other man.
But this isn't worth my money. Despite a few of my complaints, it's nothing against Calzaghe as a fighter, or even Jones as a fighter. It's absolutely something against the two of them as promoters, though. They were not prepared, and they have given themselves too much credit.