This weekend sees the return to the ring of former Nicaraguan great Rosendo Alvarez (37-3-2, 24) who at 42 years old is going to be fighting for the first time in over 6 years and a weight much, much higher than he has ever fought at before.
Alvarez first fought back in 1992 where he scored a 3rd round TKO over Pablo Torres and within 3 years he had picked up the WBA World Minimumweight title by defeating Thai Chana Porpaoin. Alvarez would run up 4 defences of his title between 1995 and 1998 before facing the amazing Ricardo “Finito” Lopez in a WBA/WBC unification bout. In that bout Alvarez dropped the Mexican great in the second round before Lopez fought back and scraped a lucky draw.
8 months on from their first bout Alvarez would again face Lopez. Sadly for Alvarez he was unable to make the 105lbs Minimumweight limit and was stripped of the WBA title on the scales, he was then controversially defeated by Lopez suffering the first loss of his career up to that point.
Alvarez would string together 3 wins (including one over Tomas Rojas, who would later go on to win the WBC Super Flyweight title) before being disqualified in a bout against Beibis Mendoza in a bout for the WBA World Light Flyweight title. In a rematch against Mendoza Alvarez managed to scrape a controversial split decision to win the title and become a 2-weight world champion. Alvarez would defend his Light Flyweight title 3 times, including a draw in an IBF unification bout Jose Victor Burgos.
Again weight problems would plague Alvarez who would lose his Light Flyweight title on the scales prior to a 4th bout with Beibis Mendoza in 2004. Soon afterwards Alvarez moved up again and in 2006 he faced Mexican warrior Jorge Arce in a bout for the WBC Super Flyweight title. Against Arce Alvarez was stopped for the first (and so far only) time in his career.
This coming Saturday Alvarez is returning to the ring for the first time since losing to Arce to face Alvaro Perez (21-4-1, 12) in a bout signed at the 122lbs Super Bantamweight limit. Quite what Alvarez is expecting to achieve from this is a mystery though we hope it will just be a one off for one of Nicaragua's greatest ever fighters.
We know boxing is like a drug, both to fighters and to fans. Generally fans are safer with their addiction than the fighters themselves, in fact sometimes fighters need saving from themselves. Sadly we feel that the return tonight of former Light Heavyweight challenger David Telesco (30-7-1, 15) is a case of a fighter who needs saving from himself.
Telesco, once a very promising young fighter started his career in 1991 and despite losing 2 of his first 6 bouts he ran up an impressive 19 straight wins. Those 19 wins helped Telesco land a world title fight with the great Roy Jones Jr with the WBA, WBC and IBF titles all on the line. Whilst Telesco showed a lot of courage in going the distance he was simply out skilled by Jones who barely seemed to to get out of second gear.
Following the loss to Jones in their title bout Telesco moved his record to 28-3-1 (23) which included scoring a notable win over the hard hitting Julian Letterlough. Soon after then however things started to turn downhill for Telesco who would lose 3 of his following 4 bouts, including a KO loss to Julio Cesar Gonzalez and a points loss to Eric Harding.
Following the loss Harding Telesco seemed to hang up his gloves until he emerged from the boxing shadows in 2009, over 4 years after the Harding bout. Initially Telesco was successful scoring a 2nd round TKO over journeyman William Gill. That success however was short lived and Telesco would himself be stopped in 2 rounds by former world champion Byron Mitchell.
The loss to Mitchell seemed, until this week, to have been the final bout in Telesco's career though now we've discovered that Telesco will be fighting tonight against 26 year old Puerto Rican Cruiserweight Vincent Miranda (14-1, 8). Sadly we can't help but feel that Telesco should have just left them hanging up.
A mugshot of McCall
At 47 years old most fighters have hung them up and walked away from the sport, though some do fight on. One man who continues to fight is former WBC Heavyweight Champion Oliver "The Atomic Bull" McCall (56-11-0-2, 37).
McCall is a name that all boxing fans will know for one reason or another. He famously stopped Lennox Lewis in 1994 to claim the WBC Heavyweight title and then even more famously broke down in tears in their rematch in 1997. As well as the bouts with Lewis McCall has faced a who's who of Heavyweights including Frank Bruno, Larry Holmes, James "Buster" Douglas, Bruce Seldon, Tony Tucker, Francesco Damiani, Oleg Maskaev, Henry Akinwande and Juan Carlos Gomez in a career that dates back to 1985.
McCall now looks forward to his next bout which takes places in the next 24 hours as he battles unbeaten Italian prospect Francesco Pianeta (25-0-1, 14). The 27 years old Pianeta had just turned 1 when McCall made his professional debut and yet McCall struggles on in battles inside and outside of the squared circle.
Whilst McCall has taken part in almost 60 professional bouts so far inside the ring his biggest battle has been with cocaine which has plagued, especially in recent years where he twice been arrested with it in his possession. As well as the cocaine issues McCall has had numerous run ins with the law which helped derail his career a number of times.
Whilst once a very good (and very under-rated) fighter McCall is now a fighter who is looking his 47 years and is sadly showing signs of being genuinely "shop worn". It's a sad tale, and we really don't know how good McCall could have been had it not been for his out of the ring issues