THE MORE THINGS CHANGE, MORE THEY STAY THE SAME, PART I
No matter how much things change, a lot of them stay the same. In the last major weekend for boxing, fans will have to choose from two separate fight cards going down at the same time. On HBO, former two-divisional champion Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley gets back on the saddle after suffering his first professional loss when he faces tough but limited Diego “La Joya” Chaves at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada. Just a couple of blocks away, if that, Brit star Amir Khan clashes against fellow former champ Devon Alexander at the MGM Grand Arena. The Bradley-Chaves headlines a card by Top Rank while the Khan-Alexander is the main event for the Golden Boy Promotions fight card on Showtime.
While eighty-three year old Arum has been at the helm of the Las Vegas based Top Rank since he threw in his hat into the promotional ring in 1966, Oscar De La Hoya has really only taken control of his company, out of his native Los Angeles, for less than a year. For nearly ten years Swiss banker Richard Schaefer was the man in charge despite De La Hoya’s silhouette being the logo for the company. With Schaeffer leading the charge, Golden Boy Promotions moved away from working with Top Rank and aligned themselves with hermit-like advisor Al Haymon. That relationship led for the company and all their fighters to eventually be banned from HBO and perform almost exclusively on Showtime.
Come June Richard Schaeffer left Golden Boy after nearly a decade. Even before that De La Hoya was yelling from the rooftops that he was ready and willing to go across the aisle and work with his once promoter Bob Arum to bring the fans the biggest fights available. Since then some inroads have been made such as Bernard Hopkins back on HBO and even Golden Boy leading the charge this past weekend as the lead promoter at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for David Lemieux’s stoppage of the tough Gabriel Rosado.
Despite all that, we are where have been before with competing fight cards on the same night. No secret the real losers in this whole equation are the fans.
Between the two main events this upcoming Saturday, the one with the biggest implications is the one from the MGM Grand Arena. It is expected that short of a miracle where the mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr versus Manny Pacquiao gets made early next year, the winner between Khan and Alexander gets the multi-million call to face the current pound for pound king. Despite Argentina’s Chaves giving great fights to not only Keith Thurman but Brandon Rios, the general consensus is that he should be well above his head against the only one loss Bradley. Bradley should be more than focused to make a statement since he is coming off his rematch loss to Manny Pacquaio and might be looking for the rubber match for next year.
In the Part II, we will go over the rest of both cards scheduled for this Saturday night from Las Vegas on Showtime and HBO.