Breakdown of an epic weekend of boxing
By Gil Quinones
Follow him on Twitter @_Gillyo_
The month of February in boxing has been dragging, or at least, it seems that way and finally, this weekend fight fans will get a real treat with some of boxing’s top fighters and prospects lacing up the gloves and stepping inside of the squared circle.
This evening on Telemundo from Palm Bay, Florida, Philly prospect Miguel ‘No Fear’ Cartagena (14-2) takes on Ricardo Rodriguez (12-3) for the vacant WBO Latino super flyweight title. Cartagena is 4-2 in his last six fights and is looking to get back on a solid win streak after starting his career 12-0 before being stopped by Timur Shailezov in 2014. Cartagena will need to be on his A game and tighten up his defense and pick his shots better if wants to be victorious in Florida.
Tomorrow night on HBO from Madison Square Garden in NYC, the talented technician and WBO super lightweight title holder Terence Crawford (27-0) defends his title against the trash talking and fan friendly fighter out of Philly ‘Hammerin’ Hank Lundy (26-5-1). Many predictions heavily favor Crawford to win and even predict Crawford will stop Lundy in this fight. I see this as a possible trap fight for Crawford. Having seen Lundy in person against Thomas Dulorme, I was able to see that he has the ability to change a fight with one punch. Although Lundy lost a split decision to Dulorme, he hurt Dulorme more than once in the fight but could not close the show. Personally, I believe Crawford is too intelligent and too talented of a fighter to lose this fight but if he for some reason takes Lundy lightly he can be in for a rude awakening. Also featured on the card at MSG, is Puerto Rico’s rising star Felix Verdejo (19-0) who will take on William Silva (23-0). On paper, it may look like a step up fight for Verdejo but in reality, this fight appears to be another tune-up fight as Silva is the one stepping up in competition. Barring any upset, fans can only hope that Verdejo steps up in competition and is able to display his talents against legitimate competition in his next fight. Fighting before Verdejo is Long Beach, NY fighter Seanie Monaghan (26-0), who will once again have an opportunity to display his talents at MSG against Janne Forsman (21-3). Like Verdejo, this fight appears to be another stay busy fight as Seanie looks to get a crack at a title shot or top contender in 2016. Another fighter on this card that has not received much media attention is Mike ‘Yes Indeed’ Reed (17-0) out of Maryland. The buzz around Reed is beginning to pick up as he has put on impressive performances in his past couple of outings and expects to do the same against Marco Antonio Lopez (24-8) tomorrow night.
Tomorrow night on Showtime from Anahiem, California, Leo Santa Cruz (31-0-1) defends his WBA super featherweight title against the experienced veteran Kiko Martinez (35-6). Many fans were upset about the matchup but if this is a stay busy fight for Santa Cruz that will eventually lead to him facing the big names in his division, I will take it.
Also tomorrow night, from Manchester, England, Scott Quigg (31-0-2) takes on Carl Frampton (21-0) for the IBF and WBA titles in a matchup that IMO is this weekend’s biggest fight. Quigg has yet to cross the pond and fight in the U.S. but he has shown the potential to be a real threat in the 122lb division. Quigg will have a tough task on his hands as Frampton is not a push over and showed in his fight against Alejandro Gonzalez, that he can battle back from adversity after getting dropped early in the fight and coming back to win a unanimous decision. Both fighters do not have any big named opponents on their resumes but if I had to choose between the two I would say Frampton has faced the better opposition and that may be the deciding factor in this fight.
Marco Huck (38-3-1), who is fighting tomorrow in Germany tomorrow as well, is also looking to get back in the win column after suffering a KO loss at the hands of Krzysztof Glowacki. Huck will be fighting Ola Afolabi (22-4-4) who he has fought three times already in which he has won 2 fights and fought to a draw in another. This fight could possibly be a curtain call for Huck as he has accomplished all that he can in the sport, or at least it appears that way. If Huck chooses to move up to the Heavyweight division, which there have been rumors about, he will be stepping into a division that is much more dangerous than the cruiserweight division and Huck could have his work cut out for him.