Fighter of the Week: Hugo Centeno Jr
There was no huge standout fighter in a fairly slow week for TV boxing, so let's go with Centeno (22-0, 12 KO), the 23-year-old middleweight prospect who thrashed James De La Rosa inside of five rounds on HBO Boxing After Dark.
De La Rosa was no elite opponent, but there was a lot to like about what Centeno did in this fight. It was a great performance in a step-up fight, and he imposed his will right from the get-go, before drilling the Texan in the fifth round with a highlight reel KO.
See Also: Darkness on the Edge of Town by Sam Sheppard
TV Fight of the Week: David Lemieux TKO-10 Gabriel Rosado
Though this fight slowed down as Lemieux became fairly dominant, there were some great exchanges early, and the fourth round in particular was three minutes of fury from both men. Lemieux (33-2, 31 KO) may not have top-level days ahead of him, but he's got the sort of knockout power that makes it possible, and he showed some patience and general improvements in his approach, the sort of stuff that doesn't get him blasted because he got tired trying to knock someone out in two rounds and failing to so.
As much as I like Gabe Rosado, it's time for him to win some fights. He wasn't really competitive in this fight, or some of his other recent fights (and losses). Rosado's a fan favorite and rightfully so, but there's only so many times we can watch him get beaten up before it gets a little boring.
Weekly Boxing Embarrassment: Jean Pascal NC-2 Roberto Bolonti
Though I understand the people who believe that by the book, this nonsense should have been a DQ win for Bolonti, because Pascal hit Bolonti on the break, which is a foul, and all that stuff, I do not favor rewarding acting. And that's exactly what this was.
Thumbs Up! / Thumbs Down!
Thumbs Up! to Jean Pascal's cornerman Russ Anber for the line of the year, Non-Let Him Out the Cage Category: "Fuckin European fuckin soccer dive!"
Thumbs Down! to Roberto Bolonti's promoter. And to Bolonti. And really everything about that fight but Anber. Thumbs down to Pascal for the foul, too, to be fair.
Thumbs Up! to Alan Sanchez, who scored a solid win over Ed Paredes on Thursday night. Sanchez (15-3-1, 8 KO) doesn't have the prettiest record, but he's a potential next Gabe Rosado, a guy who learned on the job and didn't get any shortcuts. We'll see where he goes from here, but he's winning fights.
Thumbs Up! to Jim Lampley for broadcasting his first HBO show after he was voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. This is just a way to say congratulations to Lampley. It's lazy, I know, but oh well.
Note: I'm not doing the POWER 25! because frankly it turned out to be less fun than I hoped it would be. I should have remembered how little I really care about P4P lists instead of trying to please you, the masses. But Sergey Kovalev is still No. 2.