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Lewis-Tyson to Land in D.C.? Don't Bet on It
Boxing News & Notes: Feb. 20, 2002
Another week, another Lewis-Tyson site. This week, the much discussed - but still unlikely - bout between Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson looks like it might be on June 8 and might take place in the nation's capital. That's right, Washington D.C.. Despite reports that Tyson has already received a license to fight in D.C., it appears that several additional minor steps are still necessary before it becomes 100% official. Assuming Tyson is granted a license to fight, the clock starts ticking towards possibly the largest grossing fight in boxing history. The clock also starts ticking on the time left before the fight is inevitably delayed or canceled yet again. Fight fans should know better than to get excited about this bout with so much time left for Tyson to pull out due to -- please choose one of the following: legal troubles "preventing him from preparing properly for the bout"; a mysterious training injury or illness "preventing him from preparing properly for the bout"; or money, management or promoter-related issues "prefenting him from preparing properly for the bout". Sorry to be so pessimistic but this fight ain't happening any time soon.
Wladimir Klitschko will defend his WBO heavyweight title against Frans Botha on March 16 in Stuttgart, Germany. Which begs the question: Just how afraid are Klitschko's people to see their fighter tested? Apparently - based on the opponents they've been selecting - petrified. First Charles Shufford (nice job playing George Foreman in the Ali movie but no meaningful career victories). Then David Izon (inactive over a year before being blasted out by Fres Oquendo). Now Frans Botha (no meaningful wins since being KO'd by Tyson and Lewis). Apparently Butterbean was either unavailable or deemed to be too great a risk. Shame on the WBO for not making Klitschko defend his meaningless title against a more deserving opponent such as Fres Oquendo, Hasim Rahman or Jameel McCline.
So much for Francisco "Panchito" Bojado being boxing's next superstar. On the undercard of Michael Moorer's lopsided decision over Robert Davis, Bojado was taken to school by Juan Carlos Rubio (27-6-2). Rubio was considered yet another stepping stone in Bojado's rapid ascension to greatness - and with good reason. Rubio had lost two of his previous three coming into the bout and had scored only 11 KOs in his 35 career bouts. Yet Bojado appeared - inexcusably - unprepared to fight a full ten rounds and was exposed as having incredibly weak defensive skills -- having his head snapped back repeatedly throughout the bout. Bojado did demonstrate heart in giving the best he had on this particular night and - at only 18 - it's too early to right him off completely, but at this point it seems more likely that Bojado is the next Fernando Vargas rather than the next Julio Cesar Chavez. The silver lining for boxing fans? The biggest shock of the night was not the way in which Rubio dominated the fight. The biggest shock was the judges actually giving the unheralded Rubio a well-deserved decision. Corrupt judges get all the press (and it's not just boxing - watch the Winter Olympics) but kudos to Fred Ucci, Clark Sammartino and Melvina Lathan for doing a good, honest job.
Upcoming schedule: This Saturday night's rematch of Paulie Ayala and Clarence "Bones" Adams promises to be another competitive bout. Ayala, king of the controversial decisions, took the first fight by a razor thin split decision (114-113, 115-112 and 113-114). Expect another 12-round fight. Expect another close decision. And, after taking extremely close decisions over Johnny Tapia (twice), Hugo Dianzo and Adams, expect Ayala to come out on top yet again.


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