by Mike Hanson
Short review this week for obvious reasons. Friday night saw Tony Thompson take out Owen “half-blind” Beck on ESPN. Thompson out-classed him from the opening bell and is a legit Top 10 HW.
Saturday Night we had a great doubleheader. I wanted to hate on Lucian Bute following the first fight with Librado Andrade and I still don’t think he should have won the fight. Later in the year he showed up just outside of Andrade’s corner cheering him on and I couldn’t figure out a way not to like him after that. Since then he has clearly been the top Super Middleweight and Saturday night proved no different. Edison Miranda implemented a new game plan and fought it well for 2 rounds. Then he got cocky and Bute put him to sleep. Just seconds after Miranda posed in front of him, Bute landed a super uppercut that would have made Little Mac of Punch Out proud. Miranda beat the count but was mumbling something about his ruby slippers so Ernie Sharif called off the fight.
If I were Kelly Pavlik someone would have been fired Sunday Morning. Boxers are supposed to believe they can beat anyone. They hire people to keep them away from the ones they can’t. Sergio Martinez was all wrong for Pavlik from the day they even thought about fighting him. If you have a slow plodding power puncher who had trouble with a 44 year old slick boxer, why would you think he could beat Martinez. Those who have seen Martinez fight in the past knew that Pavlik wasn’t making a comeback in the middle rounds. Martinez always slows down in the middle and picks it back up down the stretch. I believe he could have stopped Pavlik if he hadn’t of taken rounds 5 through 8 off. Pavlik’s best moment came when he scored an off-balance knockdown. While I had Pavlik winning rounds 5 through 8 they were still pretty close, unlike the 8 rounds that Martinez won. I would imagine Pavlik will not take the rematch clause but who knows maybe the guy who decided to fight Martinez in the first place is still making the decisions.
The big news of the weekend came after the fights Saturday night as it was reported early Sunday morning that phenom Edwin Valero had stabbed his wife, Jennifer Carolina Viera, to death in a Venezuelan Hotel. It appeared that he had confessed to the murder and had been arrested. It would be a tragic end to his boxing career. The news only got worse this morning as it was reported that Valero had taken his own life in his cell. There have been many tragic stories involving boxers in the last century. I can’t for the life of me think of one worse than this. While it is easy to condemn Edwin for his actions, it is still tragic that two lives were ended. They are survived by their two beautiful daughters who I hope can find peace in their lives without the love of their mother or father. Edwin Valero was one of my personal favorites and he was must watch television, I will struggle with this one for a long time. I hope HBO gives his wife a 10 count on Saturday night.