My wife's Lite FM station is full of lyrical questions the fight game often asks. I'm pretty sure Reverend Al Green's "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?" was inspired by Warrior Promotions head boss Leon Margules. And maybe Streisand was thinking about junior welterweight contender Juan Urango when she penned "Comin' In And Out Of Your Life."
This week Warrior's much-hyped title challenger is doing some easy listening on "Friday Night Fights." Somebody cue Barry Manilow's "Ready To Take A Chance Again." The overly muscular and aggressive southpaw is taking on Nasser Athumani in our co-feature bout (Friday, 10 p.m., ESPN2).
The broken heart to mend on Margules came in January when Ricky Hatton was hardly in his Hatton wonderland. Ricky "the Hitman" was primed for an upset. The champ just wasn't firing off that night when he tried to defend his 140-pound title against Urango. Yet Urango couldn't take full advantage.
On a night when Hatton was most vulnerable, Urango got close. In the fifth round, the 26-year-old Colombian got to Hatton's body. Hatton was affected but it wasn't enough to alter the course of the fight's outcome was heading. A unanimous-decision win kept the British sensation on course for his mega payday with Jose Luis Castillo.
Now Urango was to work his way back to that level. He almost didn't work his way enough to get there in the first place.
Urango won a very controversial decision on "Friday Night Fights" in June 2006 to claim the IBF junior welterweight belt. If you were watching that night, then you got a big dose of Teddy Atlas screaming about the difference between aggressiveness and "effective" aggressiveness. It was clear to us Urango wasn't effective against the run-box-run style of Naoufel Ben Rabah. The crowd booed the decision in Urango's favor. In most everyone's opinion, at least those not associated with the Florida commission or Warrior promotions, Teddy was dead-on. The message boards lit up for a solid week.
Before that, Urango had been a much talked about knockout beast. He is trying to get back to that. In doing so, he is again working with former Mike Tyson trainer Stacy McKinley.
"His last two fights, I wasn't there," McKinley said. "I worked with him for the very first fight when he came from Colombia, up until the world championship fight. The world championship fight, I wasn't there, and I wasn't there for the Ricky Hatton fight."
The trainer with the big bark is trying to instill an old bark in Urango.
"We're going back to our original style of fighting," he said. "They tried to teach him how to box, tried to be a boxer and a counter-puncher, and that was not his style. You look at the fights I had with him before, he was knocking everybody out. He was training more like the Mike Tyson style, the weaving and the rolling."
Across from Urango is a guy who likely won't fare well if an overly aggressive style gets him going downhill quick. Nasser Athumani (15-4-1, 13 KOs) is coming off a KO loss and many recent layoffs. In fact, all four of his career losses have been by knockout.
Those facts make McKinley's styling of Urango all the more dangerous.
"I trained him that way because he's built like Tyson," McKinley said. "He's heavy and strong, so I had him coming forward because of his strength and his power instead of moving away. If you got that type of power, why move away? You need to go to the opposition. Now, we're going to get back to knocking guys out."
And maybe that will get Urango back to where he once belonged. He is only 26 years old, so a visit back toward the pack of the junior welterweight contenders is not out of the question. He is indeed coming in and out of our life. My advice, and apparently the advice he is getting, is that now is a time when Urango should just concentrate on some hard rock. Keep that EZ Listening stuff to my wife.
Joe Tessitore is the blow-by-blow announcer for ESPN2's "Friday Night Fights."