Sweet Science Scene: Saturday night fizzles but Golden Boy lit up Friday with a deep card

Sweet Science Joseph Díaz Javier Fortuna

Joseph Díaz and Javier Fortuna exchange punches. Photo: Lina Barker/Under the Hand Wraps

This past weekend, the Sweet Science scene wasn’t as sexy as it’s been over the past few weeks as we didn’t have a major boxing card on Saturday night, but there was a solid one on Friday night.

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez struts after knocking down Sullivan Barrera. Photo: Lina Barker/Under the Hand Wraps

Golden Boy Promotions put on a deep and solid card that began at 12:15 P.M. pacific and ended close to 10 P.M. pacific. There was a very solid left hook knockout by Starling Castillo over Miguel Contreras in a battle of undefeated prospects. The Sweet Science may have been dark on Saturday night, but this card kept boxing fans happy and fed on Friday.

Lamont Roach kept himself in position for a title shot with a second-round knockout. Crowd Favorites Seniesa “Superbad” Estrada (21-0 8Kos), Joseph “Jojo” Diaz (32-1-1 15Kos) and Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez (42-0 28 Kos) all were victorious. Diaz won a unanimous 12 round decision over tough Javier Fortuna. With the victory, Diaz has now placed himself to make good money with different fight options. Diaz has now become mandatory for Devin Haney, or he could have a southern California battle with Ryan Garcia which would sure to sell well in Los Angeles.

Estrada won a tough 10-round unanimous decision and is now a two-weight world champion as she continues her ascent to the women’s pound for pound list. Ramirez won by 4th round stoppage against faded former contender Sullivan Barrera. Ramirez delivered three knockdowns before the referee stopped the fight. Ramirez called for a meeting with Light Heavyweight belt holder Dmitry Bivol and a possible showdown down the line with Canelo Alvarez with the victory. That fight would be big if Ramirez can pick up Bivol’s belt, but the question would be if Canelo would take it as he has stated he wouldn’t face another Mexican fighter. The Sweet Science fans on the scene can dream about that one a little longer.

This Saturday we have a really big fight as current three-belt champion Jermell Charlo (34-1, 18 KOs) and Brian Castano (17-1, 12 KOs) the holder of the other belt meet in an undisputed 154 lb. fight. This is a big fight for the Sweet Science as we will have another undisputed match for the second time this summer. This is a fight that should create another pound-for-pound fighter though I personally had Charlo on my list since he last fought in September of 2020. Castano has always been around and throws volume punches and doesn’t seem to tire out, but Charlo is so good with counters that it could fall right into his game plan. Each fighter has the ingredients to be the winner which helps make this fight so close and intriguing. Charlo is properly the favorite, but Castano is definitely in this fight and could see his hand raised Saturday evening in another Sweet Science showdown.

We were a little over two weeks away from the trilogy between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder taking place, but last Thursday we were told of it being postponed. This came out of nowhere and instantly fans and critics wondered what was really going on. We were informed that the Fury camp had a covid outbreak and that Fury had tested positive as well. Now where questions came was that Fury was said to have been showing no signs of symptoms and then that he was experiencing symptoms. We were then told he would be flying back to England while having Covid which set off red flags.

Reports also came out that training partner and former world champion Joseph Parker had tested positive as he was part of the camp, but yet he was posting on social media as he was at the weekend’s UFC card. As they say, “things that make you go hmmm.” I won’t go into conspiracy theories or anything as someone who has had a battle with COVID, I hope Fury is ok, but this is following a continuous trend for Fury of not following through with rematches as we remember what happened to the oft failed rematch with Wladimir Klitschko and that’s all I will say there. 

Sweet Science Scene Quick Hits

  • Another week and no announcement on if we will get Canelo versus Caleb Plant. Instead, what we received was that there was a call made to Gennady Golovkin about a possible third fight with Canelo. He stated he would be willing to do it. The question here is if this is being used as leverage with Plant and if Canelo shows Plant that he has other options. Rumors abound that they wanted Canelo to sign a three-fight deal with PBC and Canelo prefers to stay a free agent. Later the reports came out that PBC is willing to do the one-fight deal. For me, I hope the Plant fight gets made first. That’s the only fight I want to see for Canelo at this time and then we can discuss who after. I will say I have other names in front of Golovkin, though. The Sweet Science needs more marquee matchups and not retread rematches all of the time.
  • It seems as we won’t get the unification match between hard-hitting Light Heavyweight Champions between Joe Smith Jr and Artur Beterbiev as reports have arisen of the deal for Smith’s next two fights. First would be a mandatory defense followed by a match with former middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs, which has received mixed reviews. The majority would rather see the unification especially considering Beterbiev and Smith Jr. are very powerful punchers.
  • The Lightweight Championship match between Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos could be in jeopardy. The original plan was to have the rescheduled fight in August, but that doesn’t seem possible. With Triller promoting the fight, issues came up as they said they were interested in the fight taking place in Kamboso’s home country in Australia for October. Lopez seems to have no interest in going over there and has said he would vacate the IBF belt as Kambosos is mandatory for it.
  • The big August fight between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence which was supposed to be a unification fight, took a shot this week. The WBA decided against reinstating Pacquiao as its super champion. When Manny didn’t fight for over a year, the WBA elevated Yordenis Ugas to the super champion. Yes, please don’t ask about the regular, super, or anything about the WBA titles. The fight is still going to be for Spence’s WBC, IBF and the Rings welterweight titles.

Not to be Rueda but…. 

I feel we may need to start drug testing the judges before the fights – and I’m not kidding.

This past weekend, we saw another card that most Sweet Science fans questioned what exactly is going on with judges yet again.. Dr. Lou Moret, in the title fight between Sulem Urbina and Naoko Fujioka, scored it 99-91 in favor of Fujioka. If you felt Fujioka was the bonafide winner, that’s fine as it was a tough close fight. But the score was terrible and hard to fathom. It’s something that has happened way too often in the sport of Boxing and these judges keep getting assignments. We need to demand better from the Sweet Science this is another thing that will continue to damage the sport more and more. Fighters can’t go into a fight wondering if the judge has already filled out the scorecard before arriving. We need to ask better and they need to do better. Some fighters have missed out on title shots or possibly becoming a world champion due to judges being somewhere else and it’s not fair to the fighters and fans who expect to see the correct result but expect the worst. Your last thought after a fight is over is, “I hope they get this right.”

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