What’s going on?
WHY is no one making weight anymore? We’ve seen a rash of high profile fights this year made at a catchweight, fights which more often than not have prevented world titles from being contested. Danny Garcia and Lamont Peterson could have had three world crowns on the line, instead it was made at just over the light-welterweight limit. That was for one of Al Haymon’s Premier Boxing Champions shows, a series which also saw Peter Quillin come in over the weight and so lose the chance to win Andy Lee’s WBO middleweight title (which their subsequent draw would have denied him anyway).
Omar Figueroa was too big for the Ricky Burns fight, Frankie Gomez was so large his bout with Humberto Soto couldn’t even go ahead. Miguel Cotto followed the vogue for catchweights but instead of being too big he insisted Daniel Geale came in three pounds below the middleweight limit, although the WBC title in the division was up for grabs.
And this weekend we saw Adrien Broner and Shawn Porter made at 144lbs, a career low for Porter who was formerly a welterweight world champion, while Andre Ward made his return to action at an 172lbs catchweight, even though Paul Smith has never been considered a large super-middleweight and Ward himself still has the WBA title in the division.
Whether Smith was trying to be clever, and thought coming in even bigger would advantage him, or whether made a sizeable miscalculation, Ward still handled him comprehensively enough, halting the Liverpudlian in nine rounds.
Still it would be good to see order restored and the world title sanctioning bodies should be firmer. Miguel Cotto could have weighed light if he wished but Daniel Geale should have been allowed to be a middleweight for a WBC middleweight title fight. If Andre Ward could have made 168lbs, he should have put his world title on the line too. If he couldn’t, then he should have vacated it.
Once upon a time, in a distant, golden past, Adrien Broner was shooting up through the weight divisions, knocking opponents out. With his cocky swagger, and his talent, many of us thought he was going to the next Floyd Mayweather. No one held that belief more fervently than Broner himself. But it’s not going to happen. He’s now lost twice, most recently to Shawn Porter this Saturday, and that was a Porter who was forced to come down to 144lbs, a stipulation that presumably should have favoured the smaller Broner.
He’s not going to be boxing’s pound-for-pound ruler, but he is one of the most disliked figures in boxing. That may be a dubious accolade but people love watching him lose. They really do. And that can be a lucrative sideline. Wherever he goes next, he’s going to draw a lot of attention. Power-punching Keith Thurman, up at welterweight, for Broner next anybody?
A man who has put two losses behind him is David Lemieux. He beat Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam to win the IBF middleweight title and would be a crowd pleasing foe for Gennady Golovkin. The Kazakh looks assured in every department. While Lemieux does not have that all-round brilliance, he really can punch hard and is an exciting, fan friendly fighter. While Golovkin waits for a star name foe, whether it’s Cotto or Saul Alvarez (perhaps there’s only an outside chance now of Golovkin-Carl Froch happening), he could really do with trying to pick up another world title, in a bout that’s guaranteed to deliver thrills as well.