This Weekend in the Ring (April 9th 2016) – Pac/Bradley; Ramirez/Abraham; Martin/Joshua; More
By Todd Creel – Boxing fans, we have ahead of us an entertaining weekend inside the ring. There are some interesting match-ups scheduled, including a few title bouts, a fight between two pound-for-pound ranked pugilists, and some entertaining regional scraps (in the Washington D.C. Area at least). Let’s take a few minutes to have an unbiased look at some of these.
At the top of the list, we have a match that has been discussed ad nauseam. I am of course referring to the third fight in the trilogy between Manny “Pac-Man” Pacquiao and Timothy “Desert Storm” Bradley. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on the first two fights, we enter this bout with a record split with one win a piece. The winner of this one will, on paper, walk away with the bragging rights. This is an intriguing bout, bringing with it a few questions needing to be answered. Bradley is now training with the veteran Teddy Atlas. This will be a defining bout for the pair, as a clear win will prove that the addition of Atlas has brought Bradley’s game up a notch. Will having Atlas in his corner give Bradley the edge in this third installment? On Pacquiao’s end, we have the tried and true trainer Freddie Roach. Roach has prepared Manny for numerous fights, and judging by pictures and videos, Pacquiao appears to be in excellent condition. However Pac-Man has been in a great many entertaining fights and wars that may have taken their toll. In any case, this fight has the potential to be a memorable one as neither fighter is known for backing down.
On the undercard of that program, we have the WBO Super Middleweight champion, Arthur Abraham, defending his title against undefeated top prospect Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez. On Abraham’s end, we have a battle tested veteran with loads of experience with the top fighters in the division. He has solid defense, elite caliber experience and power to end the fight if the opportunity presents itself. Ramirez on the other hand has never fought a top level combatant in his 33 fight career. This will be a significant step up in class for him. On paper though, he also has knock out power, as well as a height and reach advantage over Abraham. Additionally, he enters the ring with youth on his side, and the confidence of never tasting defeat as a professional. Will “Zurdo’s” youth and hunger be able to trump the veteran’s experience and defense?
Now for the big boys: Saturday evening, Charles Martin will be traveling across the world to London to defend his IBF Heavyweight crown against undefeated Anthony Joshua. Both fighters enter the ring with similar height and reach. Both have proven knockout power, with Martin ending 88 percent of his fights within the distance, and Joshua sporting a perfect 15 knockout’s from 15 fights. That said, this has the potential to be the most explosive fight of the weekend, very likely ending before the final bell. The first combatant to make a mistake defensively will be at a severe disadvantage, possibly leading to a knockout. The pressure will be on both to not slip up, and the winner will have a variety of options for big fights against the top of the division.
Hopefully, some of you will keep me up to date on the results of these fights via Twitter, as I will be attending a local card being hosted by Jeter Promotions in Springfield Virginia (weather permitting). The card is headlined by Jr. Middleweight prospect Gerome Quigley (13-0 12KO) looking to keep his undefeated record intact. Quigley is a late bloomer to the sport, turning professional at the age of 29. He has only fought regional level opposition to hone his craft thus far, but always promises an entertaining fight. Also appearing on the card is Middleweight “Young General” Ian Green (8-1 6 KO) looking to bounce back from a majority decision loss in his previous outing. Green is scheduled to fight against local veteran Gundrick King (18-16 11KO). This is an intriguing fight to me, because we all know that a loss can either motivate a fighter to new heights, or sap the drive from them leaving them in obscurity. Having interviewed Green in the past, I see him stepping up to the plate here and pushing back into the win column.
While the first quarter of 2016 was a little lackluster, the second quarter is starting off strong with plenty of fights available to the fans, both televised and in person. Who are your picks for this weekend? Do you see any upsets coming our way to stir the divisions up? Let me know, I am always ready to talk boxing with you on Twitter @TheGreatToddman! Thank you for taking the time to read, and enjoy the fights!