Boxing in Philly
by Mohamad Elmahmoud
Philly has much to offer in the fight game: we will revisit the Lightweight bout between Terence Crawford and Ray Beltran that took place in Omaha Nebraska. We will touch on the opportunities for Philly’s own Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia and conclude with the fast rising welterweight Prichard ‘Digget’ Colon, who will be fighting in Philly on January 31, 2015 at 2300 S Swanson St, Philadelphia, PA Arena- Sports Complex and will be looking to impress the city with a rich boxing history, Philadelphia.
Photography by Tony Menefee
-Crawford Vs Beltran
The HBO Lightweight Championship bout Crawford Vs Beltran was a great display of talent. Terence ‘Bud’ Crawford, the WBO World Lightweight Champ faced the number one challenger Ray Beltran, who is regarded to be as a close second best boxer behind Crawford in that division. Many expected it to be a more competitive fight but Crawford proved to be the superior fighter. The WBO champ is a rare breed of fighter that can dominate from both stances, Southpaw and Orthodox (Marvin Haggler and Roy Jones Jr come to mind when switching). To best explain this talent would be to compare Crawford to an All-Star baseball pitcher that can strike-out the opposition throwing both left handed and right handed in the same inning. What is more telling of this feat is that there hasn’t been a professional baseball player to do that yet. One could argue that Gregg Harris, formerly of the Montreal Expos could pitch effectively with both arms when he played, but not to the extent or the amount of times Crawford has dominated his opposition.
Ray Beltran who was Manny Pacquiao’s sparring partner for a few years, explained in the press conference after the fight that Crawford’s style is different than Pacquiao’s, who is a southpaw; and the experience gained from sparring Pacquiao over the years didn’t translate to an advantage when facing Crawford as he switched to the southpaw stance. Beltran went on to say that he felt Crawford was the only fighter that he faced in a professional bout that was superior to him. He also stated that he thought Pacquiao would be victorious if he fought Crawford because of the stylistic matchup.
Early in the fight both fighter were active yet cautious as they were trying to size each other up and look for opportunities to land their punches. As the rounds wore on, Beltran seemed to get frustrated because he couldn’t find Crawford with his punches. Crawford started to please the crowd as they chanted his name “Crawford, Crawford, Crawford.” Crawford turned the heat up by countering Beltran with crisp shots and then became the aggressor as he continued to land his punches with pin point accuracy. Beltran’s right eye started to close from the swelling as he couldn’t elude Crawford’s punches. After 12 rounds the judges had it 119-109, 120-108, 119-109 for Crawford.
Photography by Andre Diaz
-Possible Matchups: Terence Crawford - Danny Garcia – Manny Pacquiao – Jessie Vargas – Lamont Peterson
This was Crawford’s last fight at Lightweight (135 LB) and he will be fighting as a Junior Welterweight (140 LB) for his next fight. This could open the door to many big name opponents in the 140 LB Division such as Manny Pacquiao, Jessie Vargas, Lamont Peterson and Philadelphia’s own Danny ‘Swift’ Garcia. Pacquiao’s name has the chance at the highest Pay Per View numbers at the 140 LB mark as Crawford continues to build his brand. A victory amongst the top three will propel Crawford into a household name. The fight that I believe has the best storyline and a buildup hype that can also attract large Pay Per View numbers is a Terence Crawford vs Danny Garcia bout - they fought multiple times in the amateur ranks and have claimed victories over each other. Both are undefeated and have likable personalities which help them to ‘carry’ their respective cities on their backs.
Philadelphia, PA (home of Danny Garcia) has a rich fighting tradition, much more so than Omaha Nebraska (Home of Terrance Crawford) yet you wouldn’t notice that on fight night when Terence steps into the ring. Garcia on the other hand has the capability to sellout arenas in NYC, Las Vegas and Philadelphia. As a fan of both fighters and more importantly a fan of elite level boxing, I would like to see both fighters face off. Unfortunately, due to obligations to their respective promotional companies and or advisors this fight may not take place in the next year. I hold hope though because as time passes the boxing world is starting to become more cooperative which will allow for the best fights to take place.
-Enter Lamont Peterson
Danny Garcia’s recent signing to fight Lamont Peterson on April 11, 2015 on the new Boxing Series for NBC is definitely a step in the right direction. It will be a great bout between them and the winner will be able to run the table in that division.
Photography by Andre Diaz
-Prichard ‘Digget’ Colon
A few months ago we featured welterweight Prichard Colon in an article as he makes his way through the professional ranks. This month he will be fighting for the first time in Philadelphia on Saturday January 31 at 2300 S Swanson St, Philadelphia, PA Arena- Sports complex where he faces Hector Munoz in the Main Event bout of the night. Prichard has looked forward to boxing in Philadelphia ever since he turned professional 2 years ago. He understands the rich boxing tradition that is in the city of Brotherly Love and wants to show case his talents in front of the city and fans. Prichard is looking forward to meeting and greeting his fans after his fight. This should be a great event and something fun to do on a Saturday night, plus you get to meet a rising star in the sport of Boxing!
The first bout of the evening is scheduled to begin at 7:15 pm. You can buy your tickets at www.hboxing.eventbrite.com