The Day of the Panther

By Clarence George on March 2, 2013
The Day of the Panther
Jorge Silva has already been hurt. This kid knows about pain...he just doesn't give a damn.

“Boxers are never sorry,” said Carmen Basilio. Tough guys never are. Nor should they be. Toughness—it’s the pugilistic quality I admire most. Sam Langford and Harry Greb fighting half blind, Tony Galento dishing and taking it with a half-severed tongue, Marcel Cerdan going round after round with Jake LaMotta and the hell with that dislocated shoulder, Arthur Abraham beating Edison Miranda despite a broken jaw. But toughness can also be subtle. It has its own aroma, crisp and clean, like new leather or slapping on witch hazel after a shave or autumn after summer heat, and up-and-comer welterweight Jorge Silva is drenched in it.

Silva, who’ll turn 21 on March 4, has been fighting since he was 16, slipping on the huaraches of fellow welter Kid Azteca and featherweight Baby Arizmendi. Azteca, too, first entered the ring at 16, fighting more than 250 bouts over the course of 32 years. Arizmendi donned the gloves when he was 13. He fought Henry Armstrong five times, beating him twice, once with a broken wrist. Silva is cut from the same Mexican amethyst—quartz-smooth and purple is the color of kings.

“El Pantera” (19-3-2, 15 KOs) last fought in December 2012, against junior middleweight Alfredo Angulo. “El Perro” won all right, but only by unanimous decision. Angulo has won 18 of 22 by stoppage, a 75% KO record. He beat via second-round TKO Gabriel Rosado, a hard boy who went seven with middleweight champ Gennady Golovkin. And he’s only been beaten twice, by Kermit Cintron and James Kirkland. But his only effect on Silva was to make him smile.

Silva fought four times last year. In addition to his loss to Angulo, he beat Jose Maria Valdez in January and junior middleweight Orlando Escobar in May, both by unanimous decision, and he drew against undefeated junior middleweight Yoshihiro Kamegai in October. He also drew against Guillermo Arroyo in 2011. His other two losses came at the hands of Armando Robles, who stopped him by fourth-round TKO in 2009, and Daniel Sandoval, who stopped him by 10th-round TKO in 2011.

“Pantera” doesn’t have a fight scheduled, but I’d like to see him take on, say, IBF welterweight champ Devon Alexander. Both boxers are promoted by Golden Boy. Let him get a crack at a title. Would he lose? Probably. So what? If an occasional loss was good enough for Azteca and Arizmendi, it’s good enough for Silva. Besides, he’s already lost three times. What’s a fourth? Or a fifth? As Whitey Bimstein said, “Show me a fighter who’s undefeated and I’ll show you a fighter who hasn’t fought anybody.” What if he gets hurt?  What am I, his mother? He’s already been hurt. This kid knows about pain…he just doesn’t give a damn.

New leather…witch hazel…autumn red and gold. Can you smell it? I can.

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  1. Clarence George 06:43pm, 03/02/2013

    Cerdan is easily among the all-time top 10 middleweights.  Easily.

  2. pugknows 04:53pm, 03/02/2013

    Cerdan was all about Noir

  3. Clarence George 01:47pm, 03/02/2013

    So glad you liked it, Irish, and that you share my admiration for “El Pantera”.

    Angulo, in fairness, was still a bit rusty.  Still, the fact that he only eked out a UD and never succeeded in doing more than amuse Silva is telling—and I think it says much more about Silva than it does about Angulo.  The kid, as I’m sure you agree, is well worth keeping an eye on.

    Ah, more information regarding your rather unexpected taste in women.  You do realize that Piaf was involved with Cerdan, and that you would have had to answer to him?  I think that would have proven…uncomfortable.

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo (aka) Gimpel 11:51am, 03/02/2013

    Clarence George- This article was short and sweet like Edith Piaf….another object of my long ago “day dreams”. El Pantera is everything you write about him but Angulo did seem to be pushing his punches toward the end…….we’ll see what we will see.

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