By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN’s Weekend Roundup
NEW YORK — Nate Campbell’s mandatory world lightweight championship defense against Joan Guzman was cancelled just hours before the two were supposed to have fought in a non-title fight after the challenger failed to make the mandated 135-pound limit.
Campbell-Guzman was supposed to have been the headline attraction of a Showtime Championship Boxing doubleheader on Saturday at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi.
Had Campbell fought Guzman, the 32 year-old Dominican, the champion would have been protected by each of the three sanctioning bodies he holds championships for — the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association, and World Boxing Organization.
According to the IBF rules and regulations, along with the WBO and WBA championship policy, should the champion make the contracted weight and the challenger fails to do so, the fight may still commence with the understanding that the fight will be a non-title fight.
In addition, if the champion were to lose to the challenger, the title would not change hands nor would the championship be declared vacant.
Instead of going through with the fight, Guzman, weighing in at 138.5 pounds, pulled out of the bout Saturday afternoon to the disappointment of all involved.
“I’m disappointed,” Campbell said. “I really trained hard for this fight. I wanted to fight. I’d have fought him at 30 pounds over.”
The unexpected cancellation of Campbell-Guzman propelled Timothy Bradley’s initial defense of the of the WBC junior welterweight championship against Edner Cherry into the main event slot.
Bradley, who spent his entire career fighting exclusively out of California, left his home state for the first time to challenge the highly-regarded Junior Witter in – for a world title fight.
Bradley shocked the word, by dropping Witter en route to a 12-round – decision for his first world championship.
“I’m still a work in progress and I’m the new champion now,” Bradley said prior to his fight with Cherry. “I am grateful for the chance to air my skills and to show the world who Tim Bradley is… A lot of people don’t know who I am and I don’t have the notoriety that most champions do.”
Bradley kept everyone interested in his development as a world titlist and did not disappoint. Bradley won a decisive 12-round unanimous decision over Cherry, the WBC No. 6-ranked challenger. All three judges scored the bout 119-108, 118-109, and 117-111 for the unbeaten champion.
Bradley showed a lot of foot and head-movement around the ring. He boxed a very intelligent fight, as threw punches in combinations from various angles. Bradley was simply the better fighter, as Cherry, who proved to be a strong and durable fighter, threw one punch at a time.
The champion scored a knockdown in the – round by dropping Bradley with a well-timed right hook to his chin. Bradley doesn’t appear to be much of a finisher. Following the knockdown he simply followed Cherry around the ring and continued to outbox him rather than press for the finish.
Marquez TKOs Casamayor
Juan Marquez, fighting on the weekend of Mexican Independence Day, moved up in weight to challenge Joel Casamayor. Marquez did the unimaginable — he knocked out Casamayor.
Marquez (49-4-1, 36 KOs), having lost a rematch to Manny Pacquaio in February, earned perhaps the biggest victory of his career by stopping Casamayor (36-3-1, 22 KOs) at 2:55 of the eleventh round.
Marquez-Casamayor, “The Challenge” was the main event attraction of an HBO Pay-Per-View telecast from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
What Marquez did by moving up in weight from featherweight and super featherweight in recent years to stop Casamayor, a future Hall of Fame fighter with more experience fighting bigger punchers like Diego Corrales, Acelino Freitas, and a heavy-handed Nate Campbell, was impressive.
Marquez, recognized for his sound technique, simply broke down the 37 year-old Cuban southpaw with accurate and precise punches. Marquez floored Casamayor in the eleventh with a right. Casamayor was seriously hurt and tumbled to the mat once more after Marquez unleashed one last flurry before the fight was stopped.
Casamayor, recognized by some media outlets as the linear world lightweight champion, was coming off a stunning and dramatic tenth round KO of previously unbeaten Michael Katsidis in March.
Casamayor is a former unified WBA/WBO super featherweight, and WBC lightweight champion. He has defeated some wonderful fighters throughout his 12-year professional career and had never been stopped.
Marquez stoppage of Casamayor may have guaranteed the 35 year-old Mexican a place in the Hall of Fame. Marquez has taken tough fights repeatedly during his pro tenure – Pacquiao Marco Antonio Barrera, Manuel Medina, Freddie Norwood, Chris John, Rocky Juarez, and Derrick Gainer to name a few. Also, Marquez proved the he has a lot of great fights left.
Forrest stays awake, regains junior welterweight title
Vernon Forrest (41-3, 29 KOs) regained his WBC junior welterweight title by defeating previously undefeated Sergio Mora (21-1-1, 5 KOs) in their highly anticipated rematch. Forrest lost the title in his second defense after allowing Mora to outhustle him through twelve rounds.
Was Forrest, at age 37, simply too old and Mora (ten years Forrest’s junior) simply better? Or did Forrest really have an off night and Mora simply got lucky?
For whatever reason(s), Forrest proved that he still has something left and that Mora wasn’t so lucky gambling his championship belt in Vegas.
Forrest was the busier of the two fighters through twelve rounds, as opposed to their first encounter when he had nothing left after the sixth round. Forrest even floored Mora in the seventh round.
All three judges scored the bout 119-108, 118-109, and 117-110 for Forrest.
Golden Boy Prospects Victor Ortiz & Daniel Jacobs shine
Junior welterweight prospect Victor Ortiz (22-1-1, 17 KOs) knocked out Roberto Arrieta (30-14-4, 13 KOs) at 2:225 of the fifth round.
Ortiz floored his overmatched, journeyman opponent with a right hook in the second round. Ortiz dropped Arrieta once more in the fourth after an accumulation of punches. Arrieta went down once more in the fifth before the fight was stopped at the appropriate time.
Super middleweight sensation Danny Jacobs (9-0, 9 KOs) earned another first round KO victory. This time it took just 57 seconds to dismantle Ramon Espinoza (10-8, 4 KOs). Jacobs, who turned professional in December 2007, has already amassed seven first-round stoppages.
Hatton vs. Malignaggi official
Just hours prior to Joel Casamayor’s demise at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, a press conference was held to officially announce Paulie Malignaggi’s fourth defense of the IBF junior welterweight championship.
Malignaggi (25-1, 5 KOs) is scheduled to fight Ricky Hatton (44-1, 31 KOs) on Saturday, November 22, at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. HBO will televise the bout.
Throughout Malignaggi’s career, he has been plagued by hand problems. A couple months ago, he underwent surgery to repair bone cartridge in his right hand following a contractually obligated rematch with former world champion Lovermore N’dou on May 24 in Manchester, England.
Unlike their first encounter when Malignaggi whisked the championship away from N’dou in June 2007, the champion struggled in the rematch.
Malignaggi’s long hair and injured hands became a huge distraction, as N’dou nearly beat his adversary but lost on a split decision.
Hatton, who shared top-billing with Malignaggi on that same card in May that drew more than 35,000 Hatton supporters at Manchester Stadium, outpointed Juan Lazcano in the main event.
Hatton, still recovering from his sole loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (TKO 10) last year, has hired Floyd Mayweather, Sr. to be his new trainer. Hatton’s previous trainer Bill Graham retired.