By Paul Magno | April 04, 2024

Thursday's, in this corner of the Universo Pugilistico, are all about my sack-- my bulging, bulbous, aching sack-- and the gooey, salty truth contained within. So...sit back, close your eyes, pull back your hair, and get ready for this week's money shot of wisdom. This week we have comments/questions regarding Pitbull Cruz, Rolly Romero, Tank Davis, PBC on Prime, and Terence Crawford vs. PBC.

PBC: Good Show, Weak Follow-Up (Bud vs. PBC)


I’m not going to lie, that PBC on Prime show was fire. From the free preview fights to the main event, it was all good. But then they had to ruin it with that weak-ass shit about Errol Spence moving in to fight Fundora for the titles. Bud Crawford deserves that fight and if Crawford doesn’t get it, Spence still has to be three or four names from the top of the list of challengers after getting blown out by Bud last year. This just makes PBC, Fundora, the WBO and WBC, and everyone involved look weak as fuck. 

– John Allen

Hey John.

I hear where you’re coming from. I get it and I don’t even disagree all that much. But, ultimately, a boxing company will make fights that make sense for them and that are also actually possible to make. History tells us that Crawford is not the easiest person to make a deal with. Since beating Spence, we’ve been hearing a lot about who he WON’T fight and almost nothing about who he WILL. Looking in from the outside, Bud just doesn’t seem all that amenable to making a deal. So, if that’s the case, do you spin your wheels indefinitely, trying to make fights with your guys against him, or do just move on and focus on fights that CAN be done?

In a competitive sense, Spence doesn’t deserve the Fundora fight in the here and now. But if you’re a boxing company that just signed on to a big deal with a major streaming platform, the idea is to get your names back into prominence, back into spots where their selling power helps make a good impression. Even with his loss to Crawford, Spence is a draw and a name with more bankability than any other next possible Fundora opponent. 

I know Crawford had successfully petitioned the WBO to fight the winner of Tszyu-Fundora, but that was when everyone in the known universe thought Tszyu was going to win. Honestly, I’m not even sure that Crawford wants a Fundora fight, despite what he’s been saying on social media. He’s not going to get the big money he wants for Fundora-- even if it goes to purse bid. He’d pick up two belts, but if his goal is blockbusters-- as he’s been saying-- this fight would be a significant step lower than that. 

And if Fundora vacates the WBO title, things will get even worse for Crawford. Bud vs. [WBO no. 1 154 lb. contender] Josh Kelly is a nothing fight that will earn him relative chump change no matter who picks it up. The days of the money marks are gone. BLK was pretty much one and done. DAZN has stopped tossing around cash like a horny divorcee at a Tijuana strip club. The Top Rank bridge has been burned. Golden Boy is not in a position to offer Bud any sort of big deal. There’s, almost literally, nowhere else to go BUT Premier Boxing Champions for a sustained run of big fights. 

I’ve said this before, many times, but, when it comes to business, Terence Crawford is Terence Crawford’s worst enemy. As great as he is as a fighter, that’s how bad he’s been at handling his career, at least when it comes to his stated goal of making nothing but big-money legacy fights. And when a company does meet him half way to make such a fight happen (like PBC did with Spence), he still finds a way to sour the relationship. 

At the moment, with nothing concrete on the horizon, I’m not sure where his career is headed. All I know is that the rest of the world can’t sit around and wait on his mood to change and for him to get that chip off his shoulder. 

Pitbull Cruz, Plus: What’s Up With Tank?

Hi Paul.

Hope you and your family are doing well: I want to focus on Pitbull Cruz this week.

-I can’t say I was impressed with his performance because my idea was going to be the fight always being like this, even though Cruz likes swinging wide, he has very good defensive fundamentals such as high guard and countering after being punched on the glove by something big. Rolly was always an undeserving champ, he just packs a big punch that he does not know how to use even with Ismael Salas on his corner.

-I am glad he won, even by watching it on TV you could feel the kind of atmosphere Cruz created during his fight and post-fight speech. He has brought that Mexican style back to TV. Why do you think it has been a while since we saw someone like this? My theory is that the sport has evolved too much, that the Mexican seek-and-destroy swarmer is not effective anymore due to the explosiveness and speed that the conditioning training brings (there are certain trainers like Rudy Hernandez who would dispute this as they believe conditioning just provides a nice ripped body).

- I am 40/60 on his chances against any of the current champs due to his height.

-I would not be surprised if for his next fight he gets matched against the 140 lb. Gary Russell version (how annoying is it that we have 3 brothers with the same name?). PBC seems to be building him towards greatness and most promoters preach in-house fights.

-Is Tank going to announce a fight anytime soon? Rumor had it, that it was Frank Martin, but based on his social network activity it seems that might not be the case.

Best regards, Paul.

– Miguel.

Hey Miguel.

I wasn’t all that surprised by anything I saw in the Pitbull-Rolly fight, either. Except, maybe, how little Ismael Salas’ guidance seemed to matter. To be fair to Salas and Rolly, though, I think Rolly was out of it, concussed, after those first big punches landed and if he had a game plan, he just wasn’t able to access it after that. Cruz has his limitations, but deviating from what he does best is not one of them. The guy is a single-minded grunt of a soldier and that was always going to be a huge advantage against a guy like Rolly, whose head is all over the place, all the time.

I think the fall-back Mexican style hasn’t really changed. Canelo Alvarez is a stylistic outlier when it comes to Mexican fighters. The problem is that Mexico is not producing the same number of elite-level or near elite-level fighters at this point to showcase that style to the masses. And when Mexican fighters DO rise to prominence, they’re lacking the kind of opposition that helps them spotlight that style further. In other generations, guys like Navarrete and Zepeda, could, maybe, have become bigger stars matched against like-minded opponents who compliment their preferred fighting styles. 

Cruz will be Cruz and that means, IMO, he’ll break down fighters who can’t handle the pressure or find a way to negate it, but he’ll lose against high-end opposition that CAN. Matchmaking will be important for him if he wants to parlay this win into a long-haul run of big fights. I believe he caught Tank Davis by surprise in their fight. If the rematch is made, I think Tank makes Cruz look bad. Russell is another PBC possibility, as is Ismael Barroso. But, remember, Cruz is not necessarily bound to a fight under the PBC banner. 

Whatever the case, I like Pitbull and I think he’s good for boxing. 

I’m still hearing Tank-Frank Martin in June. I’m not sure what the holdup is in making it official, but I haven’t heard any other plan B. 

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