The Quickest Of Quick Jabs: Marquez-Casamayor, Campbell’s Honeymoon, Malignaggi’s Hair Extensions And More

Some quick thoughts below, mentioning the following fighters: Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez, Israel Vazquez, Rafael Marquez, Winky Wright, Cristian Mijares, Joel Casamayor, Nate Campbell, Joan Guzman, Antonio Margarito, Paulie Malignaggi and others. It’s like a salad bar, but with fists. I quote the most overquoted movie since Austin Powers, Anchorman, to describe the war of words that has broken out between lightweights (135 lbs.) Nate Campbell and Joan Guzman this week: “God that really got out of hand fast. I mean that really escalated quickly.” Any time one fighter verbally goes after another fighter’s wife during his honeymoon, it isn’t pretty. Read the final legs of the sequence here, here and here, or if you are sensitive to vulgarity, skip it. I agree with ESPN’s Dan Rafael, (who quotes from the volley that started it all:) Guzman’s in the wrong on this one… Speaking of lightweights — the division is maybe the hottest in boxing — there is now talk of Joel Casamayor and Juan Manuel Marquez fighting. The combined boxing IQ would be astounding in the ring that night. I think Marquez, not long ago a featherweight (126 lbs.), is going to struggle at lightweight, but Casamayor isn’t as big as some other lightweights, so this might be the best match for him. It’s all part of a Marquez plot to get Manny Pacquiao back in the ring, although Pacquiao, alas, has reportedly returned to his lazy-training ways for his lightweight debut against David Diaz next month. Not smart, because Diaz is deservedly the heavy underdog but he’s a tough hombre who can narrow the gap against Pacquiao if he’s fighting a non-optimal Pacquiao. Tsk tsk… I may have spoke too soon when I said Paulie Malignaggi’s hair choices have gotten less irritating. Check out’s front boxing page: The junior welterweight (140 lbs.) titlist is pictured as of this writing wearing some ridiculous hair extensions. There could be 70,000 fans on hand in Manchester to see his fight Saturday, so it’s all the more embarrassing for him. It’s fantastic, by the way, that once again, a boxing match somewhere is going to draw that kind of live gate. Ricky Hatton — A-side in the double-header, hero to the common man and the consensus junior welter champ — is the reason, of course, and kudos to him for insisting on rewarding his hometown fans for their loyalty. It’s less clear to me whether 1. the card is broadcasting in the U.S. on Versus because, as Hatton’s team insists, they wanted it at that date and that time but HBO wanted it to air as the undercard to the Oscar De La Hoya fight earlier this month; or 2. because it’s not that sexy a card and nobody else really wanted it. I’m going to favor 1., because I have to imagine there’s money, even in America, no matter who Hatton fights… Respect, part I: A judge in a court case brought by Floyd Mayweather, Jr., boxing’s reigning pound-for-pound king, recently called the welterweight (147 lbs.) champ “one of the greatest technical boxers of all time” in a filing. Great, now Mayweather’s ego has backing in jurisprudence… Respect, part II: In light of his highly-praised performance in defeating Alexander Munoz, 115-pound titlist Cristian Mijares has moved into the pound-for-pound top-10 lists of both Ring magazine and ESPN. I now have him there, too, kicking out 160-pound Winky Wright, who is a great fighter but has been so inactive I think he’s got one of those Rip Van Winkle beards… Respect, part III: Tim Bradley, who pulled off perhaps the Upset of the Year when he toppled junior welterweight titlist Junior Witter this month, just got his own “Timothy Bradley Day” from his hometown of Palm Springs, California. Good for him… Respect, part IV: I know I’ve repeatedly made fun of his creepy chest chair shaved into the shape of a cross, but in all seriousness, I must give props to Richar-not-Richard Gutierrez for the manliness he showed in brawling — and almost beating — a naturally bigger, harder-hitting opponent in junior middleweight (154 lbs.) Alfredo Angulo last weekend. I’ll always make fun of the chest hair, but I now have nothing but respect for his fight game, and I admire the fact that he wanted to please the fans; mission accomplished here, even in loss. I hope he gets his wish to fight welterweight contender Andre Berto — that’s one helluva brawl, too… The junior featherweight (122 lbs.) division is nice and top-heavy, with Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez at the head of the class. Now, two others in the top five of the weight class, Steve Molitor and Celestino Caballero, are talking about rumbling. I’d love to see that one… Promoter Bob Arum says of rival promoter Golden Boy, “Golden Boy’s fighters will not beat ours.” Fears of a renewed Cold War between Arum’s Top Rank and De La Hoya’s self-named promotional company are stoked by things like this, of course, and such a renewal would plainly kill boxing’s momentum dead, what with those two companies being the dominant in the sport. Stepping in and reffing a little: From a casual scan of each company’s roster of fighters, I’m split fairly evenly in my predictions about who would win if I pick each company’s best per division for a box-off. Play nice, fellas — and if you start to rub each other the wrong way, keep thinking of all the money you’ve made in the last year or so by doing business… Finishing where I started: I agree with ESPN’s Rafael, too, in his suspicion about HBO’s motive in not broadcasting a “Countdown to Miguel Cotto-Antonio Margarito” show, produced at no expense to the network by the fight’s promoters. This is only the best match-up on the horizon, between two welterweight tanks, one has the potential to flourish into a boxing event if it’s marketed properly. What is HBO thinking? I don’t even have a good conspiracy theory. Instead, I’ll be spending some extra energy on hyping it myself, the way I did Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez III in March and, recently, “Yuriorkis Gamboa Week.” July 26. Watch, or the coming Apocalypse is YOUR fault…

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.