(Photo credit: Tom Casino, Showtime)
First things first: I biffed the preview of Saturday night's Showtime card, plain and simple. I didn't realize it until today, when friend of the site Jake Donovan pointed out that the last "more is better" card wasn't in June, but in September, when the network aired a quadrupleheader that was the best of the three big quadrupleheaders Showtime has aired. Somehow, I had forgotten that was a four-fight card rather than a three-fight card.
Which brings us to Saturday's quadrupleheader: All in all, I ended up quite satisfied with the product. Devon Alexander-Randall Bailey was an abomination against gods of every denomination, but Peter Quillin-Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam was worth sitting through a couple airings of Alexander-Bailey with a migraine, Paulie Malignaggi-Pablo Cesar Cano was also a bloody good time and Angel Garcia-Erik Morales II at least had a big finish, however sad it was. The card had a big price tag in relation to its gate and probably its rating, but independent of that I dug it.
What else about it, then?
Next for Garcia. Lucas Matthysse is so obviously obviously obviously the fight to make, as he is the next best junior welterweight and their battle would crown a new lineage, but Garcia is acting like that fight is beneath him and instead wants Zab Judah. Judah, a fighter few thought beat Matthysse despite the official scorecard; Judah, who no longer is a draw other than having a name some people recognize; Judah, who is not competitive with anyone nearly as good as Garcia; Judah, who is not promoted by Garcia promoter Golden Boy Promotions like Matthysse is. Garcia's going to look like a fool coming off a Fighter of the Year-ish campaign if he takes Judah next, and I'm not sure what the upside is other than getting another old name on his resume. GBP isn't the only promoter that doesn't get their guys into the ring with each other despite obvious competitive merit -- see: Top Rank, Yuriorkis Gamboa-Juan Manuel Lopez and Nonito Donaire-Guillermo Rigondeaux -- but that doesn't make it any more disappointing when we already have to deal with GBP and Top Rank not dealing with each other either.
Next for Morales, and his drug tests. Morales is hinting he'll have one last fight in Mexico, which is fine with me so long as it's not against anyone too dangerous. His late run has exceeded expectations, but he's no longer viable against contenders, in part because he just can't get himself into shape. Then there are the failed drug tests. The third sample came back clean, and you can maybe buy the "contaminated meat" excuse because it's been deployed successfully before for Mexican fighters, or else you can doubt all of it for the same reason. If it's truly about contaminated meat, it does point to these testing organizations, be it USADA or VADA, needing to educate fighters about where they can be contaminated so that they avoid those things and also so they don't have the same old excuses to throw around. New York's state commission excusing it all has an air of bureaucratic defensibility to it, but still clashes with a sense of propriety: The state knew about the bad tests and still allowed the fight to happen.
Next for Quillin and N'Dam. There was cause for hope that a do-oever was imminent because of a rematch clause, but GBP could be trying to find a loophole. I hope there isn't one. Quillin-N'Dam was one of the best fights of 2012, a rare fight where one guy was knocked down six times and somehow was competitive, as bad as the final scorecards were. Quillin has more than enough talent to compete at middleweight, but he either needs to work on his conditioning or his mindset, because he spent too much time doing nothing and basically giving away rounds. N'Dam gets enormous props for his guts but engaged in careless exchanges for no good reason when he could've controlled the fight with his jab and occasional flurries without taking so much return fire from a more powerful opponent. A rematch could go either way: Quillin could be much more active, or N'Dam could be much more disciplined. Both ought to be back on TV ASAP, preferably against each other.
Next for Alexander. It seems like it could be fellow welterweight Kell Brook, and that's a case for the sanctioning belts not being terrific for boxing or boxers. What's that going to do for either man, other than produce a crappy fight? Alexander delivers the occasional acceptably entertaining bout, but there's nothing worse than a bad Alexander fight, as the Bailey fight this past weekend and the Timothy Bradley fight a while back have shown. Brook would be better off waiting for domestic rival Amir Khan to move up to welterweight, with or without an alphabet title at stake. I don't know what Alexander ought to be doing. He's good enough that competitively he should be in the welter mix, but he's turned so many people off over time I'm not sure whom to match him with to turn that around.
Next for Paulie Malignaggi and Pablo Cesar Cano. I really thought Cano won this welterweight scrap, but the judges saw it the other way. It's as un-sad as I'll be about an unjust decision, though, not just because the fight was reasonably close but because Cano missed weight. I want to like and root for Cano because of his tendency for action fights, but he'll need to get his professional act together before I can fully embrace him again. Malignaggi goes back to waiting for a big money Ricky Hatton rematch, which is exactly what he ought to do, and the lack of an "L" on his record preserves the chances of that happening.
The Rest. Middleweight Daniel Jacobs got back into action after taking some time away from the ring to recover from cancer, and won easily... Newly "out" featherweight Orlando Cruz won a decision bout, his first since leaving the closet... Filipino bantamweight A.J. Banal had been on the long road to career recovery but lost by technical knockout this past weekend to Pungluang Sor Singyu.