Cat’s Corner: Lou Catalano Takes a Look at the Week Ahead

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Julian Williams vs. Luciano Cuello, Junior Middleweights: September 22, 2015 – PBC on Fox Sports 1

I am a bit out of sorts this week. The Bills got Tom Brady’d on Sunday. I really didn’t think this would happen. Being from Buffalo, I am genetically predisposed to become so over-elated by a single victory that the first sign of reality causes a severe depression that will only end when Jack Eichel scores his first goal for the Sabres. Then it’s Stanley Cup time, motherfuckers!!!

Anyway, at least there’s some free Tuesday night boxing to enjoy! I’m not a ratings head by any means. I think it’s odd and pointless to chuckle about shitty viewership numbers, especially for a sport that I love. But I start to cringe when I see some of these cards coming up, knowing they’ll be watched less than the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association.

That really is a thing. Julian Williams got into it with Ishe Smith once on Twitter. That was fun. I don’t know how much fun his fight with Luciano Cuello will be, but hopefully it’s decent. Cuello has been knocked out by Canelo Alvarez, Mexico’s favorite son, and lost by unanimous decision to the guy Mexico wants to kick in the balls, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Williams has already fought twice this year, winning both fights easily, and he appears to have the goods. This should be another win for him as he ascends the 154-pound rankings.

Deontay Wilder vs. Duhaupas

Deontay Wilder vs. Johann Duhaupas, Heavyweights: September 26, 2015 – PBC on NBC

The Heavyweight champion of the world is back this weekend! Actually, the real Heavyweight champion of the world is probably off somewhere trying to learn how to smack talk or petting his wife, Hayden Paneieriekriereier like a kitten. But PBC’s Heavyweight champion will be fighting a guy who I know very little about, other than the fact that his nickname is “Reptile.”

Somebody started a discussion on Twitter about being confused by all the hatred aimed at Wilder. It’s interesting, because Wilder is a fun fighter to watch, and he certainly doesn’t lack for charisma. But he does get a hard time from fans. Perhaps it’s the hideous opposition he’s faced. Maybe it’s the fact that he has been touted as THE CHAMP when we all know that he most definitely is not. His signature wins have come against Bermane Stiverne, who fought like Eeyore, and an oscillating fan.

But there’s another issue here as well. Wilder has seemed quite vulnerable at times. His last fight, a stoppage win over Eric Molina, was considered another hideous matchup that wouldn’t last 30 seconds. Instead, Wilder actually got rocked and looked seriously shaky at times. Johann Duhaupas is absolutely there to lose Saturday, as have the vast majority of WIlder’s opponents. Stiverne was the first real test, and to his credit, Wilder was exceptional. He dominated the action, controlled the distance, and overmatched a guy many thought would win.

For fans, it was a “FINALLY” moment–the moment where the prospect finally graduated to contender. And yet, as bad as the division is, this will be his second post-trinket belt victory against someone nobody has heard of. This stuff gets old fast, especially for an Al Haymon fighter. Wilder will probably win, and he’ll probably be exciting, but we won’t know a damn thing more about him. Maybe next time…

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Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Hernan Marquez, Flyweights: September 26, 2015 – beIn Sports Espanol

The little guys are getting some love, because both of these fellas are fun to watch. If you’re lucky enough to get this channel, this should be a pretty damn exciting scrap.

Juan Francisco Estrada is very good. He gave Roman Gonzalez, one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world, a fantastic battle. Hopefully, there’s a rematch at some point.

For now, Estrada gets Hernan Marquez, who has two knockout wins this year. He is the type of fighter who either puts somebody to sleep, or heads to Snoozeville himself. If Estrada wants Gonzalez again, he’ll have to make sure he puts Marquez on his ass.

Paulie Malignaggi

Paulie Malignaggi vs. Laszlo Fazekas, Welterweights: September 26, 2015 – Italy

This fight is on here because it marks what is hopefully Paulie Malignaggi’s last professional fight. He made pretty serious money in this sport despite having very little power, but he’s been declining for some time and he’s been beaten to shit in his last two outings. Laszlo Fazekas’ record is god-awful, but he’s not there to pose any real threat. He’s there to score Malignaggi one last victory.

The scary part is that Malignaggi is aligned with Al Haymon, which means another fight against a PBC fighter probably isn’t out of the question if he decides to continue his career. This is of course a terrible idea, because being beaten up and concussed multiple times is not very good for you. Here’s to what should be the end of the road for “The Magic Man.”

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