Can Castro last with Dallas on FNF?

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
8:20
PM ET
Truth is a rare commodity, to be especially prized when one comes across it in the fabulously freelance world of prizefighting, so much of which is built on a foundation of hype and spin. Because there is no centralized league, with a commissioner overseeing a department to craft a year-long schedule, boxing gets made up as we go. Two parties come together, one pitching their guy as a future star, a real up-'n-comer with world champion potential. Another guy pitches his guy for a fight against the future star, but he undersells him, tells the first fella that his guy is pretty solid, will go some rounds, but -- shhh, off the record -- hasn't been training all that hard and -- hey, you can read between the lines -- he'll probably put on a good show but gas out.

Yeah, it's the perfect sport for b.s. artists to get a foothold in. Truth, indeed, is a valuable commodity in boxing, because with so many people spinning, promoting their fighter or their vested interest, one must sift through many nuggets of nonsense, many times, to find the truth. That's why when you come across a guy like Oswaldo Kuchle, the manager of Javier Castro, who will meet Mike Dallas Jr. in the main event of this week's "Friday Night Fights," you appreciate it.

Here's Kuchle on Mexico's Castro (27-4, 22 KOs), 26, who is on a three-fight knockout streak: "Trainer Carlos Gamboa, father of Yuriorkis Gamboa, has been working a lot on his conditioning. [Castro has] always been a slugger -- he always wanted to get knockouts in the first round -- but if he doesn't get the knockout, it gets complicated. He didn't have the condition to go the round. But at this point, he's ready to go the rounds."

We shall see, when we tune in to the main event, which unfolds at the Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, Calif. I like to take people at face value, believing this is a necessary trait as a reporter, as a human being, because if one gets to the point where cynicism permeates every interaction, you get too hard-bit, too negative. Is it possible that maybe Castro's conditioning isn't optimal, that his old traits are still present, and Kuchle is spinning, trying to put it into play that his fighter is ready to go the whole 10? It's possible, I guess. So we'll just have to see if the wear-'em down style of Castro gets the better of Dallas (18-2-1, 7 KOs), who hails from Bakersfield, Calif., and is coming off a February decision win over Miguel Gonzalez, after back-to-back losses to Josesito Lopez and Mauricio Herrera.

Dallas is the favorite going in, as he's a better natural athlete, has a more varied skill set and, word is, has clicked with new trainer Virgil Hunter, who oversaw the development of superstar super middleweight Andre Ward. This is their second fight working together.

I like Dallas to outbox Castro, who hasn't been in nearly as tough as the Cali boxer to this point. No b.s. there. Readers, who do you like in the FNF main event?
Michael Woods, a member of the board of the Boxing Writers Association of America, has been covering boxing since 1991. He writes about boxing for ESPN The Magazine and is the news editor for TheSweetScience.com.

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