by Jackie Kallen
There is something in the air because it appears that all the good fights have gotten canceled for one reason or another and what we are left with is not very exciting. A good fight is a good fight, and some of the scheduled match-ups will end up being pretty decent. But with the injuries to Banks, Garcia, Alexander, etc., it leaves a fairly bleak month ahead. Even journeyman Bronco McKart had to pull out of his Feb. 23 match against J’Leon Love due to a rib injury.
This weekend features a couple of interesting, if lackluster, bouts. On Friday night at Mohegan Sun, undefeated prospect George Tahdooahnippah (“Comanche Boy”) will put his record on the line against Delvin Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is coming off a very one-sided loss to Austin Trout last June. The 32 year-old Junior Middleweight from the Dominion Republic has lost his two bids at a world title, but is still considered to be a respectable fighter.
Comanche Boy, from Oklahoma, is 34 years old and needs to win this fight to move forward in the division. His list of opponents is a veritable who’s who of unknowns. Rodriguez is a huge step up in class. Not that Rodriguez has fought the giants in his division, but only 1/3 of Comache’s conquests have winning records. He has cut his teeth on a lot of midwestern farm boys with records like 5-12 and 2-12.
We have all seen guys like Tahdooahnippah rise to the occasion and win the big fight. Hopefully he will be one of those who seizes the moment and shines.
On Saturday night in Atlantic City, Adrien Broner returns to the Boardwalk Hall to defend his WBC Lightweight belt against Gavin Rees. Known as “The Rock,” Rees is a British fighter who has never fought in the US before. At 32 years old, he is in the same position as Comanche Boy. He has a string of 37 wins (and only one loss) against a list of mostly unrecognizable names.
The big difference is that Rees is against a dazzling star in the division who has never been bested by anyone and at 23 is in the prime of his career. It is a real uphill battle for the Brit.
I was disappointed that Jonathon Banks would not be rematching with Seth Mitchell on the Broner card, but that fight will definitely take place at a later date. Hopefully the year will pick up with the bigger, more illustrious fights coming up in the months to come. In the meantime, we may be pleasantly surprised by some of these other bouts.
I hope so.
Jackie Kallen is a boxing manager who has been in the business for over three decades. Her life inspired the Meg Ryan film “Against the Ropes” and she was a part of the NBC series “The Contender.” www.JackieKallen.com, www.facebook.com/JackieKallen
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