Hot on the heels of Bobby Gunn’s challenge to Enzo Maccarinelli and his unfathomable arrival at WBO #15 WBO in the weeks preceding the bout, the WBO may well have surpassed themselves by sanctioning a bout between their unbeaten Light-Heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei versus the wonderfully named George Blades. Now Erdei isn’t Bob Foster, but he is an accomplished belt-holder and undefeated in 26 contests. Blades isn’t. Nor will he ever be. His record is aesthetic enough at 21-2, but the 21 is flimsy and the 2 illuminating.
George Blades has been a professional for 8 years, and holds victories over three fighters with a winning record. The three unfortunate fighters the proud custodians of 18-5, 3-0 and 4-3 ledgers respectively. The former, John Romans William was arguably the most suprising and ‘earned’ Blades this title shot. Blades entered the always vacant WBC Latino Light-Heavyweight belt on the back of a three year sabbatical.
William, a Costa Rican, had an ounce of pedigree. Admittedly, all in losing efforts but he had at least shared a ring with a fledgling Chad Dawson, William Guthrie and Joey DeGrandis – he managed to last seven rounds over the three bouts. Enough form to suggest he was favourite versus Blades.
But Blades pulled the win out of the fire and now lands himself a shot at Zsolt Erdei. He must be a 20-1 shot minimum. And the WBO should hang their heads in shame.
I don’t blame Blades, he’s obviously a gutsy fighter who is prepared to step up in class. Nor do I blame the promoter for trying to pass this off as competitive matchmaking. Who wouldn’t make this fight and collect at the gate?
The blame and guilt has to be placed on the much-maligned sanctioning body who continue to disappoint.