Golden Boy undercards lack shine

Updated: May 7, 2008, 7:21 PM ET
By Dan Rafael
• Having Oscar De La Hoya back in the ring instead of in a business suit (and on HBO instead of pay-per-view) last week for his fight against Steve Forbes in front of a sold-out crowd of 27,000 at the Home Depot's gorgeous soccer stadium was a great thing for boxing. Anytime the sport's biggest star fights it's good for business -- even if it was merely a tune-up fight for bigger business this fall. But I have to say that the undercard was appalling. And this was the second consecutive big Golden Boy Promotions card that was woeful. When Joe Calzaghe defeated Golden Boy partner Bernard Hopkins for the light heavyweight championship two weeks earlier, the undercard was just as lackluster. It's all well and good to see fine young prospects such as Danny Garcia and Daniel Jacobs on these shows, but how about something competitive? How about something a tad more important? Where's the beef? Golden Boy has dozens of fighters under contract and several titleholders. How about putting on a competitive match? How about a title bout? How about something other than a card where I know the results before the show starts? When there's a De La Hoya fight or a match the caliber of Calzaghe-Hopkins, it's a waste not to use that spotlight to help turn on fringe fans who might be tuning in or attending for the name value of the main event.

• It was nice that HBO aired clips of Garcia and Jacobs at the end of the telecast, but what would be even better would be to show the full fights on HBO2 or another of its outlets so the hardcore fans get more than a 30-second clip of these prospects.

• Considering how much he likes to talk and how much credit he likes to take for De La Hoya's successes, I was pretty surprised that trainer Floyd Mayweather Sr. did not attend the postfight press conference last week, especially when one of the big topics of discussion was De La Hoya's September fight against his son, Floyd Mayweather Jr.