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18 APRIL 2014

 

Title Shots Here! Getcha' Free Title Shot!, Vol. 5


Kenichi Yamaguchi
Kenichi Yamaguchi

By Derek Bonnett: SecondsOut fans have taken a special interest in speaking out in defense of our "right to a fair title fight". Our voice may be small, but we are pure of heart and do not have to accept world class mockeries in place of world championship boxing. SecondsOut reader, and a man who has had his hand in the managerial forum of professional prizefighting, Nathan Butler, recently contacted me via email to express his disgust over Orlando Salido’s recent WBO featherweight title defense over Kenichi Yamaguchi, which escaped my venom due to my vacation to St. Lucia and the frequent change of opponent from Mike Oliver to Jesse Albaracin to Yamaguchi in the past month. Keep at it SecondsOut readers! You will always have a voice in our Ask the Editor column and in my writing.

The WBO does not escape my attention in this volume. In this installment we will also see something I have not examined in my previous four volumes and that is a world title fight with two unworthy combatants vying for a much depreciated trinket. The IBF is back on my radar after being excused from the last two volumes for good behavior. The WBC doesn’t have anything scheduled as of now that falls into the dubious realm, but the WBA and the WBO are up to their old tricks as usual.

So, I must ask: when did it become mandatory for there to be an interim titlist? Interim champions are almost like number one contenders with belts to prove their rankings, except they are not always ranked number one! Right now, the WBA recognizes Andre Ward as its "super" champion at super middleweight. Dmitri Sartison was regarded as the "regular" champion, but is no longer. So now, on July 30, Jaime Barboza will meet Brian Magee for the "interim" championship at 168 pounds in Costa Rica. Magee and Barboza own respectable, albeit inflated, rankings of fourth and fifth, respectively. Magee is a former recipient of "getting a free title shot". Of all the fighters highlighted in the previous four volumes, he probably acquitted himself the best before getting stopped in ten rounds by Lucian Bute. However, he has not fought since his March loss and should not be receiving a world title fight. Even one as shoddy as an "interim" WBA title bout. The real attention though needs to be focused on Barboza, a thirty-three year old Costa Rican fighter. His modest record stands at 17-4 (8) and it doesn’t hold up any better under further scrutiny. Five of his victories have been split verdicts. The best opponent Barboza has faced to date is Jose Pinzon, who recently lost to Pawel Wolak by stoppage. Barboza and Pinzon have traded TKO victories over each other in the last fourteen months. "El Indio", as Barboza is called, has won only once since this October defeat and that was a 2011 second round KO of Ulises Duarte, who entered the ring at 21-21-1. Barboza is also 2-1 against Humberto Aranda, now 37-16 (20). Both of Barboza’s wins were by split decision while he lost unanimously in that trilogy. Yet, the WBA ranks him over Kelly Pavlik, Arthur Abraham, and Edwin Rodriguez.


July 30 is also the date of an interim WBO 154 pound title bout between Zaurbek Baysangurov and Mike Miranda. Baysangurov is a respectable fighter, who is most notable for his fifth round TKO loss to Cornelius "K-9" Bundrage. At 25-1 (19), Baysangurov fits into the fringe of the world title picture. However, Miranda is a thirty-eight year old Brazilian fighter who holds the Latino WBO belt, a piece of scrap metal he picked up with a vacant title victory over a 19-19 fighter two bouts back. His first defense and most recent win was a stoppage of an 8-6 fighter. However, that 8-6 opponent is the only fighter with a winning record Miranda has beaten since April of 2006. At 34-3 (31), Miranda has been fed a steady diet of stiffs with all but one of his bouts being in his homeland. Only seven of his victories have been against men with winning records. But, that regional title is enough to earn him a number five ranking by the WBO. Anthony Mundine, Carlos Quintana, Erislandy Lara, and Alfredo Angulo all ranked below Miranda in the June listings. Ranking Miranda at fifth is a shameful act.

Ukraine’s very protected WBA welterweight titlist is another fighter who has fought exclusively at home and will do so again next month. He’s held the WBA title for two years now, but truly has not faced a world class opponent in building his 31-0 (20) dossier. His August 26 opponent, Marco Antonio Avendano, has a world class name, but has done very little since stopping Sebastian Andres Lujan back in 2005. He has built a 30-7-1 (22) record in total, but since that big win he has twice lost to Nobuhiro Ishida by decision. His nine wins since 2005 are against opponents with a combined record of 46-64-6. Of these nine men, four were winless including his last two opponents. Only two had winning records. In the eyes of the WBA, that’s good enough to warrant a number ten ranking to the Venezuelan fighter. Did I forget to mention that the WBA has an office in Panama, but is based out of Venezuela?

On August 31 newly crowned IBF middleweight champion, Daniel Geale, will make the first defense of his title and put his 25-1 (15) record on the line against Eromosele Albert. Albert’s most significant win, a decision over a faded Yory Boy Campas, came in 2007. Since then, he has gone 4-3-1. He was stopped in one round by James Kirkland, dropped decisions to Baysangurov and Derek Ennis, and drew with Ossie Duran. He fought once in 2010 and again in February 2011 defeating inexperienced opposition. Since June, he has risen from fourteenth to twelfth. The only saving grace to the IBF’s 160 pound rankings is that the first two slots are vacant. Even they admit that "nobody" is a better contender than Albert.

Sergiy Dzinziruk, WBO 154 pound champion, is not injured or inactive. Neither is WBA super middleweight champion Andre Ward. My point is that there is no need for an "interim" champion at 154 and 168 since we are not currently between champions. Miranda and Barboza should be kept at the regional level until they can produce a win worthy of discussion. Albert and Avendano had been in the mix, but title shots in professional boxing, world title shots, should be granted by the Janet Jackson rule: What have you done for me lately?

Speak up boxing fanatics; we are being duped.


For further boxing discussion contact Derek DBO Bonnett on Facebook or at mabfan@comcast.net.

July 26, 2011


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