Not every boxing weekend is so all-fire important, so not every Weekend Afterthoughts need be novel-length. Let us sweep and dust about the corners and pick up the dust bunnies and dig our fingers into them.
For starters, you got this video, via TQBR Schedule Maestro and Australian Bureau Chief Alex McClintock. See, Manny Pacquiao? Jesus sometimes DOES want you to punch people. Other stuff:
- Jorge Linares. What can you do with this guy? You look at him and at times, he seems to be everything you cold possibly want if you were building a perfect fighting machine. Then he loses to Sergio Thompson in a bout meant to set up his latest career revival with a vengeance-driven rematch win over Antonio DeMarco. It's not as if you can write him off entirely for losing due to a cut; but then, his tendency to get so badly bloodied is a bit of a liability, isn't it? And it's not as if he was mega-badly hurt in that fight; but what is he doing going down in the first place? All praise due to Thompson for going nuts on Linares, of course, but Linares shouldn't have been on the mat at all against someone against whom there was such a pedigree disparity. The cuts problem is obviously a huge one, and apparently always will be, especially when Linares is so damn hittable; on that count, he might move on from trainer Freddie Roach, who doesn't exactly specialize in defense but found a way to turn Amir Khan respectable there. The main issue there, though, seems to be that Golden Boy Promotion's Oscar De La Hoya thinks Roach is too busy to train Linares fully, and I've always wondered whether Roach stretches himself too far, myself. Another problem: I don't think he's a lightweight, is Linares. He wasn't a massive puncher at featherweight, and nobody seems to respect his power at 135 pounds, based on DeMarco stalking him all fight and Thompson simply bulldozing in and letting Linares' punches ding off him. (I've seen it said that Thompson was hurt by Linares, but I don't know if I see that part anywhere.) I'm still not going to write Linares off entirely, but there's a lot not to like these days, like him losing to Thompson and doubling the misery by spoiling a potentially good rematch.
- Hank Lundy. Our man Patrick Connor covered the Friday Night Fights card amply and deftly, but with Linares going down, I really like the idea of Lundy stepping in against DeMarco. That sounds like a great cat-and-mouse game to replace the one we lost in DeMarco-Linares II, and we've already seen DeMarco excel as the cat and Lundy excel as the mouse. Of course, we might instead end up with DeMarco-Thompson, since Thompson-Linares was some kind of sanctioning belt eliminator. And I bet you the networks pass on that one -- in which case the question becomes whether DeMarco likes his belt more, or a TV date. I hope he likes the TV date more. Another option would be to have DeMarco-Linares II anyway, but it doesn't interest me until Linares is rehabilitated elsewhere.
- Kelly Pavlik. If there's one thing that made people doubt whether Robert Garcia was the 2011 Trainer of the Year -- OK, there were a few things, but this was one of them -- it's that it would be hard to point out how he tangibly made any of his already-excellent fighters all that much better. Pavlik, at least, looked fairly sharp to me in his first fight since joining Team Garcia. No, Aaron Jaco was not a test of anything significant, but Pavlik needed a win, and he needed to look good, and he did both of those things. I suspect Pavlik's miles inside the ring and out will prevent him from returning to his pound-for-pound heights, but I can see him being a real player at super middle or middle still, if he can keep his demons at bay. The sad thing about Pavlik and Arthur Abraham fighting in separate fights this weekend was that once upon a time, Pavlik vs. Abraham was as good as it got -- but both lost their way for various reasons. Also, as a television program with anything like reliable logistics, "Top Rank Live" is a freaking mess, according to Dan Rafael here, and, oh, according to just its entire history.