Sweet Science Scene: Upsets and title changes highlight a busy week in boxing

Michael Rueda
Emmanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete Sweet Science scene
Emmanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete. Photo: Top Rank

Are you not entertained Sweet Science fans? In a weekend of no mega fights, but solid cards the Sweet Science provided some exciting matchups, some prospects making statements and a big upset. Even when the fights aren’t the biggest sometimes boxing still delivers.

Sweet Science – San Diego style

The Top Rank Card from San Diego featured a championship match-up between Emmanuel “Vaquero” Navarrete and Joet Gonzalez. The co-feature was welterweight prospects Giovani Santillan and Angel Ruiz. Santillan and Ruiz provided a solid match-up, but one that gave us a clear winner in Santillan who has recovered nicely since a controversial decision win over former lightweight champion Antonio Demarco. We later learned that Ruiz suffered a broken left hand in the bout. The main event between Navarrete and Gonzalez was an entertaining and thrilling fight with so much back and forth, but that again gave us a clear winner in Navarrete. With retaining the title now questions on a unification fight or move up to 130 and challenge there. The Sweet Science faithful wait to see which direction Nevarrete goes.

DAZN Matchroom card wasn’t great for Mikey Garcia

Sweet Science Scene Jesse “Bam" Rodriguez
Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez.

The DAZN Matchroom card gave us the return of Mikey Garcia, the clear arrival of Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez and a new Puerto Rican world champ in Jonathan Gonzalez.

First, if you don’t have any stock in Rodriguez do it now the young gun won by 4th round knockout and has cemented himself as a legit threat in the lower-weight classes. Jonathan Gonzalez took on champion Elwin Soto and repeatedly said he would become the next Sweet Science champion from Puerto Rico, and he sure kept his promise picking up a unanimous decision. Mikey Garcia returned against Spain’s Sandor Martin and during the fight the power went out for a few seconds and maybe it was a tale of how Garcia appeared throughout the fight. Garcia was off his game and when the scorecards were read Martin took him a majority decision win to the dismay of the crowd in Fresno. With the result, the question immediately becomes what does Garcia do next? He’s far from done in the Sweet Science but it was a setback nonetheless.

Saturday’s line up on ESPN

This Saturday, Top Rank and ESPN bring you one of the most compelling Sweet Science matchups of the year. WBO junior lightweight champion Jamel Herring takes on former featherweight champion Shakur Stevenson. These fighters know each other very well and have been around each other a lot and were thought to be friends, but Stevenson has stated he just knows Jamel they are not friends. Jamel has shown not to be bothered by the statement, but more so the way Stevenson has portrayed himself. The matchup could lead to a possible bump in the popularity for either fighter and the matchup figures to be tense.

Prayers for Moises Fuentes

A moment here for Moises Fuentes who is in a medically induced coma following a knockout loss this past Saturday. Fuentes battled David Cuellar in Cancun, Mexico and after being knocked it was discovered that he had a blood clot, so following surgery Sunday to reduce swelling in his brain Fuentes remains hospitalized. Prayers and well wishes to Fuentes from all of us here at Vegas Sports Today.

Sweet Science Quick Hits

  • The proposed Sweet Science matchup between lightweights Joseph Diaz and Ryan Garcia is no more. Garcia suffered a hand injury and required surgery. The earliest timeframe for a return for Garcia has been discussed as possibly February of 2022. Diaz was upset as he believes there is no injury and immediately let it be known on social media. He also engaged in a war of words with WBC lightweight champion Devin Haney as they both expressed a desire to meet in the ring. According to them both discussions of a bout have begun.
  • Following the DAZN card in Fresno Devin Haney and unified lightweight champion Teofimo Lopez crossed paths and a war of words took place. Haney and Lopez traded insults and name calling as each said they wanted to face each after they have their next bouts. If the fight is to happen then that’s great, but with how things have gone lately in boxing the moment went viral, but who knows if the fight takes place. 
  • The Terrence Crawford vs. Shawn Porter championship fight has a solid co-main as featherweights Isaac Dogobe and Christopher Diaz meet in an intriguing crossroads match. Diaz who recently suffered a defeat to champion Emmanuel Navarrete seeks to bounce back against Dogobe who also has a couple losses to Navarrete in the junior featherweight division. 
  • Former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua seems to be looking for a new trainer. Joshua has been seen through social media at different gyms doing work with different trainers. Joshua has been seen with Virgil Hunter, Eddy Reynoso, and Ronnie Shields. All good trainers that could help in different ways for his rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
  • The official announcement and ticket sales for Gervonta Davis and Rolando Romero has been made. The fight will take place December 5th from the Staples Center, in Los Angeles. Davis and Romero have traded many verbal and social media spars over the last couple years and this match up and build up figures to bring heat.

Not to be Rueda…but 

We need to quit as media and fans of the Sweet Science in letting a fight that has gone different than expected affect how we score it. In the matchup between Navarrete and Gonzalez, many figured Navarrete to breeze through Gonzalez and that didn’t happen. Gonzalez held his own and gave it his all, but that doesn’t mean he was winning. He performed better but was still the one who lost, but people everywhere were saying the fight was closer and that Gonzalez may have won and I’m sorry, but he did perform better, but he did not win.

The following night with Garcia and Martin many expected Garcia to blow through Martin and that didn’t happen as Martin had a good game plan and pulled out the win. Garcia was coming forward, but his aggressiveness was not effective, and he was not cutting the ring off. The fight was close, but it was not a robbery people clamored that it was are way off. Martin fought to his game plan and pulled out the victory. We need to let those emotions or feelings of the fight being different than expected change who we think is winning.