Weekend Wrap-Up, Nov. 5, 2007


That's the first word that comes to mind when thinking back on the Joe Calzaghe experience. And that applies to everything, from the large crowd of loyal countrymen chanting his name to the way he took care of a younger, stronger opponent.

Mikkel Kessler hit harder, threw a sharper jab and fought with better technique. He was able to bounce back and win a round or two after losing one, and he was certainly game all the way until the end, looking for a knockout shot when he knew that was the only way he could win. I agree with the HBO announce team that the result wasn't so much a case of what Kessler did wrong, but what Calzaghe did right.

Kessler was also refreshingly honest in his post-match interview, admitting that Calzaghe hurt him with a few shots and that he'd have to go back to the drawing board a little bit if granted a rematch. He should have more big fights in his future.

Calzaghe certainly didn't put on the clinic he did in his beatdown of Jeff Lacy, but sometimes you learn more about a boxer when everything isn't going his way. The Pride of Wales made the better in-match adjustments and showed a strong chin that wasn't tested much against Lacy. He was also quicker to the punch for most of the fight, swinging a couple of close rounds simply because he was able to get off first.

Is a big money fight with Bernard Hopkins in his future? I'd certainly pay to see it, even though I'm not sure their styles would guarantee an aesthetically pleasing fight.

From a fan's perspective, you had to like the fact that there was no televised undercard for Calzaghe-Kessler, making it easy to switch over to Showtime in plenty of time for Marquez-Juarez. Unfortunately it wasn't much of a contest, with JMM pretty much cruising to victory. Juarez probably would have been better off if the nasty cut that opened over his left eye in the early going (due to an accidental head butt) had stopped the fight.

Many fans are thinking about a possible rematch between Marquez and Manny Pacquiao, and even though it pains me to say it (full disclosure: the staff of Boxing Watchers is part Filipino!), I thought JMM deserved the decision the first time around. He'd be facing a different, more defensively aware Pac-Man if they face off again, and my gut tells me it would be a toss-up.

No comments: