This week I've got to rep my home country, Australia, with a hilarious video advertisement which won the Gold Lion at the Cannes adfest. Even if the beer is only average, the only thing more manly than that is boxing.
This week there's not all that much going on, despite a Saturday night show on Showtime. That's because the show isn't that good, featuring as it does Cory Spinks and Cornelius Bundrage. Apart from that there's Friday Night Fights and various worldwide happenings. Enjoy.
- Cornelius Bundrage vs. Cory Spinks, Saturday, Showtime, Indio Calif. I don't know about you, but the junior middleweight rematch between Cornelius “K9” Bundrage and Cory Spinks does nothing for me. First of all, Bundrage (31-4) and Spinks (39-6) are pretty much past relevance, fringe contenders in a division with much better stuff going on. The only reason anyone is interested in Bundrage is the belt he won from Spinks, which he will likely lose the first time he faces a top tier opponent. Which brings me to the second reason that I'm not interested in this rematch – it was very conclusive the first time. Bundrage bullied a faded Spinks around and stopped him in the 5th. I don't see any reason why it will be any different this time around. I don't really see any reason why Showtime bought it, except that the new management seems quite cosy with Golden Boy Promotions. On the undercard, featherweight phenom Gary Russell, Jr. (19-0) is being featured in another disgusting squash match against Christopher Perez (23-2). Also fighting is hard luck story/junior middleweight Erislandy Lara (16-1-1), who faces former Andre Berto victim Freddy Hernandez (30-2), who got caught with a big shot against Berto and is probably not as bad as the haters would have you believe. Still, look for Lara's fast southpaw boxing to get the job done.
- Ruslan Provodnikov vs. Jose Reynoso, Friday, ESPN2, Corona Calif. Russian Friday Night Fights regular Ruslan Provodnikov does his regular thing on Friday night, looking to bounce back from a lacklustre stretch that has included a loss to Mauricio Herrera and a near one to DeMarcus Corley. Across the ring from the Beryozovo native will be Mexican-American Jose Reynoso (16-3-1), by all reports an honest fighter riding a three year winning streak. Even without being able to see much of Reynoso, it's safe to assume that this will be an enjoyable battle. Provodnikov (21-1) tends to guarantee that with his face first, nuance-be-damned style. At this point it seems a virtual certainty that Provodnikov will never rise above FNF status, but a win in this fight could lead to slightly more significant fights down the line. Junior featherweight Christopher Martin (23-2-3) fights on the undercard.
- The Rest. Puerto Rican lightweight prospect Michael Perez (15-1-1) takes his first fight after a stoppage loss to Omar Figueroa in January, facing Eric Cruz (13-9-3) in a gimme fight on TeleFutura Saturday... Roy Jones Jr. (55-8) sinks to possibly a new low in Lodz, Poland Saturday, [probably -- ed.] facing cruiserweight Dawid Kostecki (39-1). Please stick to announcing fights, Roy... Heavyweight and 2004 Olympian Jason Estrada (18-4) fights in his home town of Providence, R.I. against Alex Gonzales (20-6) on Friday.
It's not just you. That card on Showtime is one of the worst of the year, after giving us the best of the year just a few days ago.
At least we have reliable ol' Ruslan.
@tstarks Agree with you both. Spinks was only rarely palatable in his "prime," much less now, clearly past it. And while I can appreciate Bundrage's effort, he's not upper tier in that division. He's had a funky and interesting career, but he tends to get sloppy and mouth off no matter what happens.
Providnikov hasn't been anything but entertaining from what I've seen, even if he's clearly limited. Keep that dude on either FNF or ShoBox type of shows and I'll watch every time. And actually Chris Martin usually brings it too, win or lose, and he's fighting a 20-1-1 guy with a decent KO percentage. Should be a solid FNF card.
Sure, I would like to see him fight someone better than Spinks. But he's a fighter, not a matchmaker. Bundrage may not be the flashiest fighter in the world, but he hasn't lost a fight convincingly since Joel Julio. He should have gotten a shot at better opposition by now, but I still think he would beat everyone but the top fighters at 154. One more big payday is probably all he has left, but he's entitled to that at least.