This weekend proved to be mix of a showcase of new contenders and up-and-comers and a few big fights.
[NIXED] Fres Oquendo vs Odlanier Solis (Heavyweight)
Joe Spina UD(8) Tiwon Taylor (Light Heavyweight)
--Spina, the former Contender contestant, has been on a roll as of late, perhaps setting himself up for a minor title fight in the future...
James McGirt Jr MD(6) Patrick Perez (Middleweight)
Not Previously Mentioned
:Fri.05.22.09: [c] (Vacant IBA Intercontinental Heavyweight Championship) Oliver McCall TKO2 John Hopoate
:Fri.05.22.09: Antwone Smith UD(10) Richard Gutierrez (Light Middleweight) [ESPN2]
:Fri.05.22.09: Erislandy Lara TKO4 Edwin Vazquez (Light Middleweight) [ESPN2]
:Fri.05.22.09: Guillermo Rigondeaux TKO3 Juan Noriega (Super Bantamweight) [ESPN2]
--Like Lara above, Rigondeaux is an alum of the famed Cuban national team and high hopes have been placed on him. He looked alright and too comfortable in the ring, but the major caveat is, like Lara (who I thought looked better) and fellow star Yuriorkis Gamboa, the Cuban fighters start quite late for a professional boxer--usually around 30.
The training and experience is there from the national program to help carry them through to potentially quick stardom, but their shelf life won't be very long, having gone through an extensive amateur period and then having less than ten years, realistically, for a pro career that operates differently from what they've been used to since their teens in all likelihood. In a sense, you basically just have to enjoy what you can of their perhaps short time in the limelight--and their automatic success is never a guarantee nor is it something well-translated into the pros.
:Sat.05.23.09: [C] WBC Super Bantamweight Champion Toshiaki Nishioka TKO3 Jhonny Gonzalez
--Not too many people, especially in host Mexico, saw this one coming, as the champion recovered from a first-round knockdown to knockout the beloved former bantamweight champ Gonzalez in his backyard...
:Sat.05.23.09: Raphael Marquez TKO3 Jose Francisco Mendoza (Super Bantamweight)
:Sat.05.23.09: Deontay Wilder KO1 Charles Brown (Heavyweight)
--Another month, another fight, and another KO win for the U.S.' only 2008 Olympic medalist...
:Sat.05.23.09: Tim Witherspoon Jr. D(4) Gabriel Morris (Lightweight)
:Sun.05.24.09: Dimitry Salita UD(10) Raul Munoz (Super Lightweight)