Last Saturday in Warren, Ohio, Don King returned home to his roots and held a fight card at the WD Packard Music Hall. I didn't want to rehash anything that went down in the ring on Saturday, as I've already done that and am trying to avoid therapy here. Instead, I wanted to provide a different angle after the latest fight card put on by the Hall of Fame promoter.
First, I've read several boxing media articles chomping at the bit to crucify this show. Make no mistake, King's “Return To Greatness” wasn't a good show, and this isn't a defense for the pay-per-view with a sticker of $49.99. Based on the promotional artwork, that price tag is about 49 dollars too high. Watching in real-time, folks were hitting me up on social media looking for the free “team stream” link. I flat out told them not to bother. The advice should be because it's illegal, but in actuality, it is because this would be disrespectful to stealing. However, the articles I keep reading make it sound like this is King's “Swan's Song.”
Minor problem in that. While many are looking for the music and the fat lady vocals for King, his last act still has a lottery shot at Canelo Alvarez in Ilunga Makabu. That will keep that band on the sidelines for the time being.
While this King show won't go down in the record books for anything other than terrible, it did promise “REAL BOXING,” and we sure as hell did get that in spades Saturday night.
Just not the kind of real boxing you wanted.
Numerous delays between fights. A poor undercard with nothing of note or replay value. Questionable scorecards in both the co AND main events. Title fights for belts no one knew existed. A fight venue that on television looked like those “outlaw mud shows” wrestling podcaster Jim Cornette keeps talking about.
And to cap off the night, a walkout bout that had nobody left to tell you who won (Michael Moore defeated Anthony Lenk). It doesn't get any more “real boxing” than this.
Did I mention that King still has a shot at Canelo Alvarez? Let me get back to that here. Makabu, who by anyone who watched this fight Saturday, was beaten by Thabiso Mchunu. Even the broadcast crew calling the contest grandstanded poorly all night long to make this chicken shit into a turducken, noted that Mchunu won. After a 10-minute delay to get the scorecards, King's champ Makabu retained to the dismay of the faithful who traveled in the winter conditions on their way out. I wish I could say it's “Only In America.” but boxing judge's and erroneous scorecards are at this point across the planet, not just the “Historic Capital of the Western Reserve.”
So, who can you blame for this? You can point at judge Steve Weisfeld and
Jamie Garayua, who both favored Makabu, for starters. Letting Makabu retain means King gets to “let the good times roll” here as he joins the rest of the boxing world in the Canelo sweepstakes. The most significant selling point that Makabu has here is that Alvarez hinted at fighting at cruiserweight late last year. After Makabu's performance this past weekend, Canelo has a chance to become the first Mexican fighter to win a belt at five weight classes should he jump up to face Makabu. It was hard to favor anyone against Canelo and now problematic when they looked like Makabu did last Saturday.
Is it a fight of any interest outside of that? No, but if it's the history books Canelo is chasing, this seems like the route. I mean, it wouldn't be the first time in professional sports history was made by iffy means. Just know that possibility of the impending farce was enabled by the scorecards Saturday night.
Sanctioning bodies had approved these matchups for the viewing public to witness, and they have as equal blame as they support the said judges in this mess. Let's start with the WBA that helped orchestrate the co-main event of this mess.
Credit to Johnathan Guidry, who put up a valiant effort for a championship title fight, albeit for the seemingly disposable “regular” title. Guidry took this fight on short notice. The sanctioning faction looked to help relieve King from the ghosts of lawsuits past by ranking him while still working on a shift on the shrimp boats in Louisiana. Bryan retaining this belt possibly nets him a bout against Daniel Dubois based on the sanctioning body semantics.
Just the WBA being the WBA.
Maybe they'll push that fight thru, or perhaps they'll just let Bryan keep the belt in the case-like Leo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has a featherweight belt growing dust from the lack of defenses. Guess what he's not defending this upcoming weekend? Not that belt. Maybe I'm just to believe he'll face the winner of Leigh Wood and Michael Conlan since that third Carl Frampton fight never happened.
The WBC portion of blame is Makabu, the champion picking up where Oleksandr Usyk vacated in January 2020. This very questionable win now sits around and hopes Canelo calls out to the 34-year-old from the Congo. If the sanctioning body had any input on this, it would be to review that fight seriously. It seems very convenient that the WBC was first to jump on replay. Video technology suddenly doesn't know where the remote is on this fight to look back at it.
Wonder why that is. Tape doesn't lie, and putting the onus on just who Canelo picks next seems lazy on the outside looking in.
Boxing has a way of keeping people around longer than they planned to. Looking forward to the next Don King fight card as he didn't have the sound of a 90-year-old calling it a day. Just a man, hanging on in the world of boxing. Aided by a broken system that continues to enable anybody with a dollar in their pocket to linger around. King's name continues despite the obvious to still be a drink coaster in the world of boxing. Let's see if the idea of a Canelo Alvarez fight will be the last drink they set on it.
You can follow Marquis on Twitter @weaksauceradio .