Kirkland-Julio, Martinez-Cintron, Pacquiao-Hatton, Oh My!

avalanche-canada.jpgRemember the avalanche of fights happening/not happening I wrote about last week? —-> It’s a really loooong avalanche. It just keeps… avalanching, or whatever the verb form of avalanche is.

Let’s hit the news of the day very quickly, because with the way things are going, it’ll change by tomorrow, anyway.

  • Manny Pacquiao has wised up and agreed to a 50-50 split for the biggest and bestestest fight that can be made in the sport, a May 2 duel with junior welterweight (140 lbs.) supreme champion Ricky Hatton. That’s according to Bob Arum, Pacquiao’s promoter, who talked Pacquiao down from his silly 60-40 cliff. Yes, I know there are some people out there who don’t think it was silly, but I do.
  • Junior middleweight (154 lbs.) James Kirkland will be fighting Joel Julio on March 7 in the most powerpunchariffic meeting I can even imagine. Besides the certain entertainment it will provide, it’s right about the ideal fight for both men. Kirkland’s clearly ready for a big step up, which Julio is. Julio clearly needs a little rehab, which Kirkland can provide, after his second loss, to Sergei Dzindziruk, and he now has learned that clever boxer types are going to keep giving him problems, and a clever boxing type, Kirkland ain’t. This is a truly exciting match-up between two young heavy hitters.
  •  On the same night on HBO, prospectalicous young sensation Victor Ortiz will go up against Vivian Harris in a battle of dudes with a lot of “V’s” in their names. Ortiz’ fight plan seems to be “beat up all the best junior welterweights of 2004 and 2005,” after defeating, in the last two years, Jeffrey Resto and Carlos Maussa, and I think Harris is as shot if not more shot than both of those fighters at this point in his career, and they got 2nd and 1st round knockouts. That said, I’m not knocking this fight excessively. Harris is only 30, so he might have some left that I’m just not seeing. Ortiz is only 21, and while I think he’s ready for a bigger step up than Harris, it’s not a completely unreasonable opponent at this point in his career.
  • With junior middleweight Sergio Martinez’ second straight opponent going missing — first Joe Greene to kidney stones, then Daniel Santos to some kind of weight/Don King dispute nexus — Kermit Cintron is stepping in to fill the gap. So no more Joshua Clottey for Cintron, apparently because there was “no money” in that fight. This is a fascinating match-up between two men whose collective three losses are to Antonio Margarito. One has to assume Cintron’s fight-equalizing power will carry up at least somewhat, given his frame, and I can’t for the life of me think of a time Cintron has fought anyone with even remotely the kind of slickstery business Martinez will put on him. It completes a very good HBO Valentine’s Day triple-header featuring junior middleweights Alfredo Angulo and Ricardo Mayorga against each other, plus lightweights Nate Campbell and Ali Funeka against one another.
  • Lastly, that oft-discussed Juan Manuel Lopez-Gerry Penalosa fight at 122 lbs. looks more like a go than ever, on HBO on April 4. As we’ve repeatedly hashed out in the comments section in the last week or two, you have to figure the young, dynamic Lopez for the favorite here, but not so much that you can count the tough and crafty Penalosa out. And I don’t have a ridiculous word like “slickstery” or “powerpunchariffic” to go along with this paragraph, so I’m closing up shop for the time being.

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.