Terence Crawford’s Victory over Breidis Prescott Looks Nothing like Rocky Movie


By Ivan G. Goldman

Las Vegas attracts some of the least-knowledgeable fight crowds around, which accounts for all the booing while Nebraska’s Terence Crawford gave Colombia’s Breidis Prescott a boxing lesson last night.

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Photo: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Many in attendance are gamblers who got comped tickets from the casino. No matter how good the undercard is, they usually don’t take their seats until the main event. And when they do get there earlier, you often wish they hadn’t. You attract more sophisticated fans when you take cards out of Sin City, but casino money talks.

Crawford, 20-0 (15KOs), had gone up in weight on short notice to face a much bigger guy with one-punch knockout power. So when he moved around and picked him apart with his jab and masterful counter-punching, many crowd members couldn’t figure out what was gong on. Didn’t look anything like one of those Rocky movies. Boo, complained the puzzled folks in the Mandalay Bay arena. But it was a classic schooling and a joy to watch. Prescott, 26-5 (20KOs) needs to expand his repertoire if he wants to emerge from the obscurity into which he just dropped.

The main event was something anyone could understand and appreciate. And moments after their second blood-fest, calls for a third fight between Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado tripped easily off the tongues of the HBO on-camera team, fans, and fighters. There is of course a logic to it with the series standing at 1-1. But an equally compelling logic says no. Thumping trilogies between warriors like these tend to have an ugly after-life. Months after his third blasto-rama with Arturo Gatti, Mickey Ward was still complaining about double vision.

Israel Vazquez, who sacrificed some of his eyesight to make four stands against Rafael Marquez, had a series of retina surgeries as the series continued. He may or may not be finished with them. How did he pass all those fight physicals?

Gatti died in an alcohol haze under mysterious circumstances. Diego Corrales, after two wars with Jose Luis Castillo (the third was called off on fight day when Castillo was way over the weight), died in his own alcohol haze while piloting a motorcycle. He was 29. He was broke.

I could go on with this list, but it’s too depressing. Let’s just say that maybe we shouldn’t ask too much from people who don’t know how to say no.

Other thoughts after the excellent double-header from HBO last night:

The 4-1 odds favoring Rios were what professional gamblers call an overlay. The real odds and betting odds were very much out of line. The money stampeded for Rios because everyone knows that a kayoed fighter tends to get kayoed again in the second match, only quicker. But once everyone knows something, the value of that information is cheapened and subject to change.

Although it didn’t merit much attention, trainer Robert Garcia said he was pleased to be working with Rios’s strength trainer, Angel ‘Memo’ Heredia, a PEDs peddler who escaped prosecution by ratting out his pals. Heredia, who stayed under the radar awhile by taking on an alias, came aboard Team Rios before the rematch. He now claims to be on the up and up, but none of the athletes he admitted juicing ever tested positive while under his chemical care.

Garcia is an excellent trainer, but his nose doesn’t appear to detect much. He also worked with Antonio Margarito after Margarito parted with plaster-master Javier Capetillo, who was caught loading Margarito’s wraps before his loss to Shane Mosley. Funny thing, Margarito, who claimed to be shocked by the revelation, never had the same old power when he came back from a ridiculously lenient one-year suspension. Inspectors were now giving his wraps and gloves the serious attention they always deserved — watching for chunks of plaster, rolls of quarters, horseshoes and other objects that might slip in there by accident. Those wide, pushing punches of his just didn’t get it done anymore. You have to wonder whether Garcia wondered about just what happened to his fighter to make him so suddenly ineffective.

Blood-lusting Max Kellerman is still beating the drums about the “early stoppage” to the first Rios-Alvarado contest, an early stoppage that exists only in his mind. It reminds me of politicians willing to fight to the last drop of someone else’s blood.

Reading Goldman’s critically acclaimed novel Isaac: A Modern Fable {Permanent Press, 2012) is a fine experience the author wishes for each and every one of you. So buy it. Information HERE

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