The Ship Be Sinking

Mouth Almighty

Boxeo!

Only two notable televised fights this weekend, as HBO brings a slightly off double bill of Chris “Fighting Nipple” Arreola vs. someone or something called Travis Walker, backed with Verno Phillips vs. Paul Williams.

It’s a fairly uninspiring card. Walker is unknown to me, but ESPN’s Dan Rafael has him as essentially a can for Arreola to crush and look good on TV by so doing, and I see no reason to dispute that. Williams-Phillips is a step and a half up from there as Phillips has had a fairly distinguished career just below the mainstream (for boxing) radar- fighting since 1988, he’s faced men like Kassim Ouma, Corey Spinks, Bronco McKart, Ike Quartey, Julian Jackson, and beat Spinks in his last fight. What exactly he has left though is a mystery; he’s 38, and while he’s won 4 in a row, the Spinks fight was very close and somewhat controversial and two of the other wins came over the ultra-shot Teddy Reid and JC Candelo. He’s a clever old pro and you don’t count him out until he’s counted out, but it’s hard to put too much stock in his chances.

Williams, meanwhile, is a very odd and yet potentially fantastic fighter. Some fights, he looks dominant and powerful, a dangerous and skilled puncher; others, he looks like a slapper who can be confused and thrown off by basic use of angles and distance- and that’s just in his two fights with Carlos Quintana. In the first of those he was badly outboxed and lost a decision; in the second scored a first round KO. In the past he’s struggled with glorified jobber Walter Mathysse, but also has a win over Antonio Margarito- but fought as a slapper in the latter fight, failing to land anything of significance and winning entirely on activity. His last two fights were at middleweight and welterweight, and this one is halfway between at junior middle. He’s all over the map. That said, his last two wins were by 1st round KO, and he seems to finally be developing a style and not relying so much on the set of physical tools (great height and reach for a 147-154 pounder, great stamina, lefthanded) he’s been given to confuse people. He’ll have 5 inches of height, 13 (!) of reach, and 11 years on Phillips, and apears to be entering his prime.

He should win, and win easily; the more interesting thing may be how he fights in doing so, and what effect that has on his chances of landing a next major bout.

EDIT: I had forgotten, this weekend also brings the return of one of the best young fighters in the game, Jorge Linares, to the ring following a long injury layoff. He faces the fantastically named Whyber Garcia in Panama for an alphabet trinket at 130 lbs. Sadly, it’s not on US TV, but good to see him back in the ring regardless.

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November 28, 2008 - Posted by | Boxing |

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