Did you know that if you put all the McBain clips from "The Simpsons" together back to back, it makes a mini movie? Isn’t that the coolest thing you’ve heard all week? The video above is just a trailer; you can see the whole shebang here.
As for the boxing – it’s a bit of a slow week. There are TV fights, featuring Vernon Paris, Adrian Hernandez and Vic Darchinyan, but they’re not of the premium cable variety. (The biggest fight of the week may well be a fight from last week, with Showtime replaying two bouts from the Floyd Mayweather, Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero pay-per-view card on its main channel on Saturday night. The main event wasn't that action packed, but featherweights Abner Mares and Daniel Ponce De Leon put on a show on the undercard.)
Vic Darchinyan vs. Javier Gallo, Saturday, Unimas, Laredo Texas. Everyone’s favourite evil midget, junior featherweight Vic Darchinyan (38-5-1, 27 KO) is making his debut for Top Rank Promotions against the unheralded Javier Gallo (18-6-1, 10 KO). This shouldn’t be a tough fight for Vic. Despite the fact that the Armenian-Australian southpaw is tiny for a 118-lb. fighter, he’s managed to manoeuvre himself into the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board’s rankings at #7. Gallo, for his part, is a fun fighter who’s not afraid to trade a bit of leather – which could make for a very entertaining fight, even if he gets flummoxed by Darchinyan’s weirdness, as most do. Mexican Olympian Oscar Valdez fights on the undercard – he’s one to watch.
Vernon Paris vs. Manuel Perez, Friday, ESPN2, Detroit. Welterweight Vernon Paris (27-1, 16 KO) is on the comeback trail after an embarrassing knockout loss to Zab Judah last year. I’m not saying that it’s embarrassing to lose to Zab Judah, just that Paris did it in an embarrassing way. Perez (19-8-1, 4 KO) is no Judah, but he’s an honest, determined pug. One look at his nose tells you that. I think Paris has got this, but I think Perez will make it interesting – at least for a while. It might end up a blowout in the late rounds when Paris’ power starts to tell.
Ricky Burns vs. Jose Gonzalez, Saturday, Glasgow. Possibly the fight of the week, this lightweight match pits up-and-coming Puerto Rican prospect Jose Gonzalez (22-0, 17 KO) against Scottish tattoo canvas/titleholder Ricky Burns (35-2, 10 KO). It’s a classic puncher vs. boxer match-up, with Gonzalez taking the role of puncher. The real question going in to this is “how good is Gonzalez, actually?” The answer is almost impossible to know. He’s not unskilled and his power punching has been very impressive against a string of journeyman and fringey-fringe contenders. But Burns is not a fringe contender, he’s the TBRB’s #2 lightweight, and a beautifully skilled boxer. He got off the deck to beat Rocky Martinez -- who shares a lot of characteristics with his Puerto Rican counterpart -- down at junior lightweight, and I think that’s what will happen here. Burns will be a little too fast, a little too skilled and, at times, a little too tough for the challenger.
The Rest. It’s a big week for the junior flyweights, with the TBRB’s #6 Kazuto Ioka (11-0,7 KO) and #2, Adrian Hernandez (26-2-1, 16 KO) fighting on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. Neither man is challenging himself very much… ShoBox on Saturday offers a reasonable match-up between welterweight prospects Cleotis Pendarvis (17-3-2, 6 KO) and Dierry Jean (24-0, 16 KO). I suspect Jean is on an entirely different level… TBRB #7 bantamweight Jamie McDonnell (20-2-1, 9 KO) faces the #9 in Julio Ceja (24-0, 22 KO) in Yorkshire on Saturday – intriguing.