The Wallabies did look great against the Boks in Sydney, but that was only a ‘B’ South African side, or something close to it. We’ll see how things look when the All-Blacks pay a visit. Some Light Welterweight boxing between Amir Khan and Zab Judah should be fab to watch (I got my money on the Brit) and the Copa America, finally, is reaching its rather uninteresting climax.
Australia did look good, at times great today in the 2011 Tri Nations opener. James O’Connor scored a try and added 14 points by boot. Will Genia and Quade Cooper were fantastic, setting up by one way or another five tries. The game was pretty much over during the first half. The Queensland Reds formula, the ability to surprise and creativity flowing from the players made a completely refreshing performance, pretty much putting the Shocking Samoa defeat in the history books and nothing more.
Still, despite the 39-20 result, South Africa weren’t exactly fielding the strongest side. De Villiers knows he has a World Cup title to defend, and with all the prestige of the Tri Nations, resting key players or slightly injured is much more important. I actually believe that on a World Cup year there’s no need for a Tri Nations tournament. Too close to each other. But there’s too much money to be lost, for all three sides. The All-Blacks host South Africa next week, and could put the Springboks out of contention and deeply bruised very early on. Like last year.
The thing I’m looking forward to the most this weekend is the Amir Khan and Zab Judah fight. For Khan (25-1), fighting for the third time in the United States, besides defending his WBA Light Welterweight title, is the opportunity to prove he’s the number one pound for pound Brit. More importantly, proving he deserves a shot against a Mayweather or a Pacquiao, but they probably have themselves to deal with first.
For Judah, this is the last chance before completely being considered a has-been. At 41-6, the 33 year old is the IBF belt holder but since his losses to Cotto and Mayweather seems like a man waiting for a second chance he doesn’t deserve and probably won’t do him any good. Khan isn’t exactly the perfect fighter, but his quickness should be enough in what should be an entertaining fight.
With the Copa America ending tomorrow, we can finally put this silliness and very disappointing tournament behind us, with a potential champions that hasn’t won a single match in regulation so far (Paraguay) and hope the wait for the start of the European leagues won’t be as long and difficult to bear as some of the matches in the tournament have been so far.