Even as a child, I knew that there was something unusual about my mother and father during Christmas time, specifically about the way they exchanged gifts. Growing up on after-school-style Christmas specials, I learned that the art of gift giving consisted of two things: the thought that went into the gift and the surprise factor.
The gift has to be something that shows the gift giver knows the person getting the gift and that they were aware of any subtle hints that could’ve been given throughout the period of time leading up to the special day. Lastly, the gift giver has to make every effort to deceive the receiver into anticipating anything else but what the gift actually is, and almost like magicians use misdirection it is best if you insert into the conscious another totally believable option.
For my parents, though, gift giving was stripped of the surprise factor and my dad was not responsible for remembering any of my mother subtleties. Instead, my mom would get her Christmas present, birthday gifts, and any other holiday gifts a week or two before the day. In fact, she would go with my father to pick it out.
I was 8 years old and it was 8 days before Christmas when my father took me, my brother and mother to the mall. I was growing impatient at Dillard’s department store as my mother was combing the perfume cases. She ended up selecting some item and I assumed we were off to KB Toys. Instead, my dad bought the item right then and there.
It was upsetting to me that my mom was stripping all of the fun and spontaneity from receiving the gift on the expected day. There was no explanation I could think of as to why my father would allow my mother to carry on like this and strip him of the satisfaction that comes with giving a desired gift.
I learned a lesson over time that will help explain my choices for this week’s “Must-See Fights.” Remember, Thaboxingvoice’s “Must See” list is comprised of several important aspects. The main point to the list is to highlight fights that are going under the radar or prospects/unknown fighters at the hardcore level in important bouts.
The fights and fighters highlighted this week are very well-known and present no mystery on any level, casual or otherwise. I created this list as a means of shedding light on off-TV fights and to point out excellent matchups on cards with the feature fight stealing all of the attention, but I find it equally important to bring awareness to fights that are being misinterpreted in the media or by fans.
This week’s highlighted fight is the surprise gift staring us in the face. When you receive a gift without the surprise factor it can strip you of a certain enjoyment, but that’s assuming you get the gift you wanted all along. We as fight fans enjoy fights when they’re surprisingly good, much like the Timothy Bradley-Ruslan Provodnikov fight a few years back – a fight that was supposed to be easy work for Bradley but instead ended up being “Fight of the Year” material.
However, the anticipation for a great fight is a factor that cannot be overlooked. Now, I will take the surprise factor away from what could be the best fight of the weekend.
Adrien Broner vs. Khabib Allakhverdiev 12 rounds for vacant WBA junior welterweight title—There are very few journalist reporting on this fight for what it could be – a spirited bout between two men competing under “do or die” circumstances. All of the attention this week has been focused on the Lucas Matthysse- Viktor Postol showdown being televised on HBO. The two junior welterweights are fighting for the vacant WBC belt that Danny Garcia relinquished before moving up to welterweight.
It should be a great fight, but the junior welterweight showdown to watch will be the one being fought on ShowTime between a very desperate Broner and a highly underrated fighter in Allakhverdiev.
Broner is coming off of his biggest loss this past summer against Shawn Porter. Of course, Broner’s Marcos Maidana loss probably did more damage to his career and it was the end of his undefeated streak, but the Porter fight was covered in a way that made it more coveted. Beating Porter would’ve meant more to Broner’s career than it would have had he defeated Maidana that fateful night in San Antonio.
Now, Broner has a chance to rebound by winning a world title at 140lbs. This is an important fight for Broner and his necessity to win this fight could affect how desperate his performance gets.
Allakhverdiev is a fighter that has never really gotten the opportunity on this stage. He has competed on major networks before, but this is by far his biggest opportunity. Many believe that he defeated Jessie Vargas last year. It was a close fight, and at the very least Allakhverdiev earned the respect of the fans. Prior to the Vargas fight, which was his first career loss, he took Joan Guzman’s undefeated record. He’s also defeated Kaizer Mabuza and Nate Campbell.
This has all of the makings for an exciting fight and it is far from a Broner showcase. In fact, if Broner isn’t on his A-game then he could come up on the short end. With the fight in Broner’s hometown, Allakhverdiev would do himself a favor by taking the fight out of the judges’ hands.
Jamel Herring vs. Yakubu Amidu 10 rounds, lightweights—This is a significant step-up for the former Olympian Herring. Even with 7 losses, 2 by stoppage, Amidu is a solid test for the somewhat untested Herring. Of course, Herring is the favorite, but Amidu has given tough fights to guys that were being showcased at the time, and even though he lost those fights, he still put in work and won rounds.
Fighters to watch:
- Robert Easter Jr. will be on the Showtime undercard. If you get the opportunity to watch the 15-0 lightweight from Ohio, make sure you pay close attention. He’s got some real skill, and even though he is still pretty far away from a significant fight, he is closer than his opponent suggests.
- Julius Jackson is headlining this Tuesday’s “PBC” on Fox Sports 1 card against Jose Uzcategui. The opponent is decent for this stage in Jackson’s career, but the most important aspect of this fight is making sure you familiarize yourself with Jackson. A Virgin Islands native, Jackson is strong and athletic. This fight is an IBF super middleweight eliminator. James DeGale is the IBF champion at the weight class, but I doubt that fight happens immediately following Jackson’s expected victory.