by Jeremy "Fasttalker" Bjornberg
This week Doc's recaps last weekend's big card in Las Vegas and also gives a preview of this week's fight between John Ruiz and James Toney.
This weekend was a big one for ESPN has it made its first foray into the boxing pay per view business. I was in Vegas for both Friday and Saturday's fights at Caesar's Palace and it was a great experience. Other than a little rain on both nights, the outdoor arena created a great atmosphere. Friday started out with another blazing performance by St. Paul prospect Jason Litzau. The budding featherweight star improved his record to 14-0 (14 KO) by stopping the durable Idelfonso Martinez in 5 rounds. Keep an eye on Litazu, he is definitely the best Minnesota prospect I have seen.
The first fight of Saturday night was undefeated heavyweight prospect Calvin Brock in against the always lazy Jameel McCline. Although Brock was dropped in the fight, he battled back to earn a unanimous decision and Doc's was right on the money for this underdog.
The second fight of the night was the return to the welterweight division for Sugar Shane Mosley. Shane outboxed young prospect David Estrada and had him hurt from vicious body shots in almost every round. Mosley looked solid, but this performance was not overwhelming. Doc's also called this fight correct to put its win streak at 9 in a row.
The main event featured champion Antonio Margarito against highly hyped prospect Kermit Cintron. Margarito blew out Cintron in the fifth round. Doc's saw value in Cintron but he was unable to handle Margarito's relentless attack. I now would rank Margarito over any welterweight including Zab Judah, Shane Mosley or Oscar De La Hoya.
NBC show The Contender had back-to-back episodes on Sunday night and neither disappointed. Ishe Smith was surprised by Sergio Mora's style and he was frustrated into dropping a decision. Ishe was a big favorite coming in but Mora simply brought too much to the table with his all around skills and tenacity.
The second fight featuring Alfonso Gomez against the just-back Ahmed Kaddour was also exciting. Gomez seemed done in the final Round 5 but held on to take a gritty decision win. Gomez and Mora are now guaranteed a top four spot.
The coming weekend features the heavyweight title fight between James Toney and John Ruiz. Doc's has done their background work as always and has found lots of value in their weekly pick. This fight should be entertaining as it also pits Toney's big mouth against John Ruiz's classless trainer Norman Stone. HBO will be showing the fight at 10 PM (EST) on Saturday night. The John Ruiz-Toney fight should be a good one.
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