VERONA, N.Y. — Three thoughts on Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov’s unanimous decision win over Garrett Wilson…
1. For a blowout, this was a fun scrap
Injuries in boxing happen; they are not the fault of the promoter, matchmaker or network, much as we like to search for someone to blame. And there is no question that when Tomasz Adamek bowed out of Saturday night’s fight against Glazkov with a stomach virus, the card took a hit. Adamek and Glazkov was a crossroads fight, an aging contender against a rising one. But credit Main Events–and matchmaker Jolene Mizzone–with a nice save on this one. Wilson wasn’t Main Events’ first choice (Steve Cunningham, Bryant Jennings, Malik Scott, among others, passed) but the cruiserweight contender ended up being a pretty fun one.
Faced with a significant height disadvantage, the 5-foot-9 Wilson came out swinging against the 6-foot-3 Glazkov, wildly winging shot after shot. While Glazkov was consistently more accurate — he landed 238 punches to Wilson’s 75, according to CompuBox –Wilson never appeared hurt and never stopped moving forward. Throughout the fight, Wilson’s corner pleaded with Wilson to throw more jabs and keep the combinations coming, but the overmatched Wilson could only mount an occasional crowd pleasing flurry. Cuts over both of Glazkov’s eyes made things interesting, but Glazkov never appeared to be in trouble and cruised to an easy decision.
2. Where to, Glazkov?
I’ll be honest: Glazkov (16-0-1) isn’t all that impressive. Two fights earlier, Glazkov was outboxed by Malik Scott, and was awarded a charitable draw. And faced with a physically inferior opponent in Wilson, Glazkov, a 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, should have been able to take advantage of the enormous openings the undersized Wilson left him when he came careening in. But he couldn’t. Couple that with an obvious lack of one-punch power, and Glazkov has some work to do. A fight with Adamek next year isn’t bad, nor is a showdown with Cunningham, who told me that if he had originally been scheduled to fight on the card, he gladly would have stepped up to face Glazkov.
Glazkov’s willingness to fight anyone is laudable — he didn’t turn down any of the prospective replacement opponents Main Events put in front of him — but he has a lot of work to do before he can think about entering the world title picture.
3. Come on back, Wilson
Originally, Wilson (13-7-1) was penciled into a slot on Main Events NBC Sports Network show in January, against Thabiso Mchunu. That fight could still happen, and it should. Wilson is a very television friendly fighter with an interesting story — he told me that being bullied as a kid was what brought him into boxing — and more than enough power to worry anyone under 200-pounds. The cruiserweight division isn’t sexy (quick, name any of the titleholders?) but there are some fun fighters in it, and Wilson proved that he was one of them.
Bonus: A missed opportunity for Karl Dargan
Dargan, an undefeated lightweight, has a strong pedigree. He’s the cousin of famed trainer Nazim Richardson and a sparring partner for Shane Mosley and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez. He’s a good fighter, too, with fast hands and a decent power. As the co-main event for the NBC-televised show, Dargan (14-0) was fighting on his biggest stage. And with the 135-pound division wide open and with HBO scouring the landscape for opponents for its prized prospect, Terence Crawford, Dargan had his biggest opportunity.
He didn’t blow it, winning a lopsided decision over Michael Brooks. But he didn’t exactly dazzle, either. Dargan appeared disinterested in taking any chances, preferring to move in and out, to outclass Brooks (10-1-1) with his skills. That kind of win is good, but it won’t dazzle network executives who are constantly on the lookout for action fighters. At 28, Dargan is in the prime of his career and in good position to fight multiple times next year on NBC Sports Network or, perhaps, NBC. The next time he gets that opportunity, he should try to make more of a statement.
– CHRIS MANNIX