That's the Guillermo Rigondeaux people could learn to love. Granted, the junior featherweight had an opponent in Willie Casey who was coming straight at him, and as a counterpuncher, Rigondeaux got just what he needed to show some fan appeal. Still, it's a start back up from the cellar he tripped into with his showing against Ricardo Cordoba.
Some other brief Weekend Afterthoughts for you:
- Odlanier Solis' injury. Guess what: It was legit. This is why you don't just automatically jump to the conclusions of faking, boxing fans and Epix commentator Lennox Lewis. There is some confusion about whether the injury was pre-existing or not. At first, there were reports that it was, but later, Solis' team denied it. I'm not really of the mind that his weight had as much to do with it some do -- there are fatter guys out there boxing without blowing out their knees, and the fact that he had fought for many, many years as a fattie then got himself somewhat in shape suggests that this was a fluke occurence. I guess being a fattie doesn't help when it comes to AVOIDING injury, but it doesn't seem so clear a cause and effect this time. And I can't actually think of a reason there shouldn't be a rematch with Vitali Klitschko when Solis gets well, as his promoter is requesting. After the Klitschko brothers' next respective fights, who else will be out there worthwhile? If Sam Peter can get a third fight with a Klitschko after failing to be competitive in the second, why wouldn't Solis, who actually was competitive with Vitali, be a viable opponent for a rematch?
- Next for Klitschko. Vitali now seems as though he'll be facing Tomasz Adamek next, who probably won't be competitive but has ascended the heavyweight rankings high enough to make himself a viable contender and will help draw a big crowd over in Europe. Alternately, if Wladimir gets injured before the David Haye fight (or, as our British friends Andrew Harrison and FunkyBadger keep insisting will happen, Wladimir pulls out of the fight -- oh, British friends), Vitali would step in and Wlad would fight Adamek later. Either way, the Klitschkos look like they're returning to significant, meaningful fights after a wasted 2010, and for all the pain they cause my boxing soul, it's better to have them fighting guys like Solis, Haye and Adamek than Shannon Briggs, Peter and Albert Sosnowski.
- Epix problems. So the fledgling network explained via a news release that its website woes were due to all the traffic they got, unexpectedly. Happens all the time, websites being unprepared for people wanting to watch their fights. To their credit Epix did short-circuit the procedure where people had to sign up when confronted with this crisis of popularity. And you can watch the replay at EpixHD.com, if you want to see a couple minutes of decent boxing and a leg injury. I also hadn't been intially aware that Epix broadcasted the fight on a big screen in Times Square, so that's worth mentioning here, too. Still, it's all kind of small consolation -- the network stumbled out of the gate, even taking into account they can't control the outcome of the fights, with the website problems and crappy commentary and an undercard fight that featured a man who lost by getting hit in the fupa by a man nicknamed "The Albanian Tyson," who, like most "The (Blank) Tysons" is nothing like Mike Tyson.
- Friday Night Fights. First things first: All networks must banish Demetrius Hopkins for the rest of time. He's not only boring, but he barely fights at all -- which is too bad, because he could be OK to pretty good if he did. Fellow welterweight Brad Solomon beat him merely by being the aggressor, mainly. What I liked about Solomon's performance is that he's a counter-puncher by nature, just like Hopkins, but when Hopkins wouldn't make the fight, Solomon decided to do it at all costs, even if it meant lunging in recklessly. He found a way to win, which is what you want in a boxer. I wouldn't take bets on Solomon's ceiling, but he's a real contender now.
- Solo Boxeo Tecate. Junior middleweight James Kirkland continued his return, but not without a bump in the road -- he was wobbled in the first round, for some reason, by Jhon Berrio, who had a nice KO record but, as with all Colombians, mostly against the kind of competition that made it unclear whether he had real power. Kirkland came back harder, like he always does, although his boxing technique appears to have degenerated while he was in jail, and it never was all that terrific to begin with. The knockout punch he landed didn't look like much -- watch it below -- but Berrio really was hurt by it or he's a pretty good actor. Also word is that lightweight Luis Ramos was lucky to escape with a win in a good scrap.
- Other results. You know where to find 'em.