With no fights to cover until Mayweather-Ortiz week, I’m knee-deep in writing – presently lost somewhere around the border around 1915-1919. My Jan. 1 deadline approaches for “The History of Boxing in New Mexico, Volume I,” due out next year by McFarland Press.
Photo above: A ticket stub from the scrapbook of New Mexico’s first world title challenger, Benny Chavez, who was in attendance for the Sept. 19, 1915 showdown between Albuquerque’s Benny Cordova and Texas legend Bobby Waugh – it was the third time the two fought. Altogether, Cordova and Waugh battled seven times and 107 rounds – from Mexico to Texas to New Mexico. Both, Benny Cordova and Benny Chavez, feature prominently in the book.
A change in the weather may be in store for the sorry state of the American heavyweight picture. That, at least, is the forecast from border camp of “El Niño” . . . . |more|
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Ringside notes from El Paso, Texas:
“Is David “Nino” Rodriguez the real thing?” Quit asking me. We’re still a fight or two away from knowing. But I will tell you this: He lands that left hook on a Chris Arreola or a Seth Mitchell or a David Haye, that guy is going down. Owen Beck was a real test for the unbeaten heavyweight – and he passed with flying colors. Next up: Another name fighter who hasn’t lost four in a row. The saga continues . . . .
Quotes of the week:
Owen “What the Heck?” Beck: “He hit me and I was like “What the heck . . . ?'”
Juan Lazcano on a comeback: “I’m old enough to know better but young enough to do something about it.”
David Rodriguez: ““Who’s gonna doubt me now? I’ve shut up all the critics now. I’ve finally fought somebody – right?”
El Paso is one of the best fight towns in the U.S. It’s also one of the worst.
They’re an unforgiving bunch, fans at the border. Give ’em a good fight and they will show up in hordes, to cheer and boo, throw bottles and wave homemade banners. Give ’em a bad one and your next show will be thrown in an empty arena.
Fight fans have the same attitude about unbeaten local hopeful David “El Nino” Rodriguez. Talk to the crowd and you’ll hear one “Yeah, he’s got what it takes” to three or four people mumbling, “He fights bums …. cab drivers.”
Is it what it is. Rodriguez may have the prettiest ring record in boxing, but his resume of opponents may be the worst compilation of no-namers in the sport.
All of that ends tonight, when Rodriguez takes on former title challenger Owen Beck, who weighed in at 232 pounds yesterday – his lightest since 2005.
Sure, Beck is past his prime. You bet, he’s lost four in a row. But tonight marks either the end of Rodriguez’s claim to fame as an unbeaten heavyweight, or the beginning of a campaign for true contention.
Hang out long enough in El Paso and you’re going to find two different camps, both with valid arguments, among local boxing fans. One camp will swear that David “El Nino” Rodriguez is the next great American heavyweight. The other? Call ‘em haters, call ‘em critics, but these guys will fill your ear with talk of built-up records, tomato can opponents and being overrated . . . |more|
Easy pickings: ‘Nino’ licks Hicks; Snooze button goes off on ‘Junior Time’s’ clock: Instead of a homecoming theme, last night’s fight card at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso, headlining the return of unbeaten, untested heavyweight David “Nino” Rodriguez, might’ve been better served with a theme of “Promises, promises, promises.” For several reasons . . . |more|
There’s a thin line between humility and exaggeration. Five minutes talking with undefeated Abraham “Abie” Han, you’ll be asking yourself whether it’s better to believe this kid is the best thing to come out of El Paso since Chico’s Tacos, or if it’s better to second guess yourself that what you saw in the ring was an illusion of talent and raw power . . . Click here for more