Quick Jabs: Chad Dawson’s Misadventure In Electronics Purchasing; Your Regular Floyd Mayweather – Manny Pacquiao Updates; Ancient Trash-Talkers Sit In Rocking Chairs, Contemplate Fighting; More

Let’s say you want to buy $16,000 worth of equipment at Best Buy. You decided to put $8,000 on a credit card, and pay for the remaining $8,000 in cash. Would you expect the clerks at Best Buy to have a problem with this? Maybe they might wonder if there was something criminal afoot, like maybe counterfeit bills or something like that?

Chad Dawson blames racial profiling. The talented light heavyweight might have more data here, as I am white and he is rich enough to spend that kind of money regularly to know whether it was an abnormal (although it looks like he was saying it happens “all the time” in a possibly poorly transcribed section of the interview). I’m just saying: If I walked into Best Buy and slapped down eighty $100 bills, I bet even my white ass would get some funky looks, at minimum.

With that item from the headline addressed, we can move on to some of the others, and add some discussion topics besides. Like the future of the heavyweight division. Or the continued percolation of fight options in the deep junior welterweight division. Or excuses for recent worse-than-hoped-for performances, both fishy and more legitimate than we ever knew. And more.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you this week’s edition of Quick Jabs.

Quick Jabs

Your latest “Manny Pacquiao is famous” links: Here’s a segment by Frank DeFord on NPR, and here’s TIME magazine ranking him 13th on the list of 2009 “People Who Mattered.” And for those who didn’t see it yet, here’s some “Floyd Mayweather is famous” fun, on Joe Buck Live and in Interview magazine, the latter of which is not your usual Mayweather interview…

Freddie Roach, Pacquiao’s trainer, and Roger Mayweather, Mayweather’s trainer, strike me as the “trainers most likely to engage in an actual fistfight before their boxers do.” I mean it. Roach almost got in a fight with Miguel Cotto’s trainer before their welterweight bout, and he’s been known to jack a dude’s jaw; Mayweather has the kind of mouth to provoke Roach. Roach has threatened that if Roger trash-talks too much, he’ll knock him out…

I didn’t get a chance to do a “Weekend Afterthoughts” column this week, but one of the major things that struck me is how divided opinion was about the performance of junior welterweight Victor Ortiz. HBO, Ring magazine and myself were more in the “pro” category. Some TQBR commenters and others, less so. Looking back, I still feel solid in that assessment — yes, he was tentative to start, but he outboxed and outpunched a physically bigger veteran who put some pressure on him and by the middle rounds looked quite comfortable to me. Opinions were somewhat divided on the stock of Juan Diaz, and if anything I think I was too generous to him. Diaz admitted to BoxingScene this week he was flat and will be moving back down to lightweight, and it’s not that I don’t think he can rebound. But he definitely lost two and arguably lost all three of his 2009 fights, and has officially lost three of his last five. It seems he’s gone off the rails rather seriously overall, and needs to figure out if boxing is still in his heart; he looked flabby and uncertain in there against Paulie Malignaggi…

Promoter kerfuffles: Frank Warren took the opportunity of the back-to-back 1st round knockout losses of Roy Jones, Jr. at cruiserweight and Dmitriy Salita at junior welterweight to mock them both. Increasingly, I am of the opinion that Warren is kind of a dick. Meanwhile, Australian Jones conqueror Danny Green hired Gary Shaw to represent him in America to lure Golden Boy executive Bernard Hopkins into a fight, which sounded on the surface like it makes sense until Shaw mentioned recently that Shaw and GBP have never done a show together. And it gets weirder when you consider Hopkins’ recent hostile remarks toward his own company. Granted, Hopkins is a chronic malcontent with his promoters, but the whole thing is a bad sign — GBP executives who double as fighters Hopkins, welterweight Shane Mosley and lightweight Marco Antonio Barrera have all at various points complained about their treatment at the company, with Barrera actually leaving over it all…

I’ve been as big a Glen Johnson fan as anybody, but I fear he’s gone crazy. He recently remarked to BoxingScene that “I clearly won the second fight” with Dawson. Huh? Which parts? I missed those parts. Two rounds, sure. More than that, getting dubious…

That shoulder injury Jean Pascal suffered in his light heavyweight rematch with Adrian Diaconu was more serious than I realized, which means a couple things. One, Pascal is way more of a bad ass than I realized, fighting through three occasions where his shoulder was popped back into joint. Mad respect to him for fighting through that. Two, Pascal’s going to be on the shelf for a while because of surgery

You won’t read much better boxing journalism than this piece about a missing Muhammad Ali opponent…

Back to Roy Jones for a second: Remember how classy Jones was in not making excuses for his loss to Green? So much for that. By the way, Danny, “no comment” is not the right answer when someone asks you to address claims that you essentially fought with loaded gloves…

If, like Maxboxing’s Steve Kim, you were wondering where middleweight prospect Danny Jacobs disappeared to, the answer is: knuckle surgery….

Politics + boxing news. I have no insight into why Barack Obama has not issued a pardon of the first black heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson. Nor could I comment on it if I did. Meanwhile, I spoke too soon in the “politicians who dig middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik” switcharoo. Today, per a news release, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will officiate the weigh-in for Pavlik’s weekend bout, which is somewhere between Jim Traficant and Hillary Clinton…

Fight Night Club has nine dates lined up for next year…

There’s an interesting piece in ESPN the Magazine about failed pro football players training to move into boxing. An influx of athletic talent in the heavyweight division can’t hurt. But I shudder to think that the future of the heavyweight division depends on people who weren’t good enough to make money in some other sport…

Tor Hamer, one of the better young American heavyweight prospects was on Carson Daly’s show this week. Salita was on the show not so long ago, too. Daly’s show is much different than I remember it, and I’m not sure who watches it, but whatever — I’m glad he’s taken an interest in boxing. Maybe he’s trying to tap into the rising tide or something, and I’ll certainly watch it when boxers are on.

Round And Round

Overall, Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao remains in a non-finalized state of limbo, which makes me moderately nervous. One day there’s a report citing anonymous sources that the fight could be finalized this week. A couple days later there are reports that the fight may be scrapped or at least pushed back from March. Later in the week Freddie Roach is saying an announcement is forthcoming the first full week of January. In the meantime, Jerry Jones makes a convincing case for Cowboy Stadium. You can see why he’s successful; he’s a good salesman. I still have nightmares about Gale Van Hoy judging and Laurence Cole refereeing, but if we can get that taken care of, I love the idea of 100,000 people watching this fight live.

Never believe that David Haye will be fighting a Klitschko brother until the moment the bell rings. Vitali Klitschko said he had a deal of sorts to fight Haye should Haye successfully defend his heavyweight belt against John Ruiz in the spring. Haye’s team immediately denied it. As much as I’d like Haye-anyKlitschko, given that Haye pulled out of fights against both brothers and this makes the third time that somebody thought this was going to happen prematurely, I can’t count on it. Meanwhile, Klitschko has Valuev on his radar, and lest you think that fight is as bad as it gets, I’d ask you who’d be better for Klitschko to fight. Good luck — Odlanier Solis, maybe, who keeps calling out Klitschko but has less pro experience even than Kevin Johnson or Cris Arreola, two of Klitschko’s recent victims? Nor do I have trouble with Klitschko fighting Valuev coming off a loss, because it was a close, competitive fight.

Junior welterweight is just so stacked, and yet I’m pretty sure nearly every conceivable match-up of fighters in the division has been conceived of or, more often, actively discussed. Devon Alexander and Kendall Holt are swapping trash talk. Amir Khan-Nate Campbell is rumored, and Khan-Paulie Malignaggi is a fight that’s being discussed. Holt-Campbell is off because Campbell would only make $14,200, an oddity of the purse bid process, while Holt may instead fight the next highest-rated IBF contender to eventually challenge for Juan Urango’s title. Vivian Harris is trying to edge in the picture by calling out Ortiz, who probably needs another fight of that level before jumping back in there with the big boys, despite my thinking on his performance last weekend. I’m sure by this time next week, there will be mathematical possibilities being explored in this division that I couldn’t anticipate.

Bernard Hopkins is narrowing down his options, with cruiserweight Danny Green and super middleweight Lucian Bute tops. Those that are falling behind for some reason or the other: Paul Williams would want the fight at 170 or thereabouts, and Golden Boy’s Richard Schaefer says Hopkins can’t get much below 175; HBO can’t offer enough money for a Chad Dawson bout, and is disinterested (why!!!!!?????) in cruiserweight champion Tomas Adamek; and nobody really wants to spend any money on rematches with Roy Jones, Jr. or Felix Trinidad. I can live with Hopkins-Green or Hopkins-Bute — I just don’t think they’re the most interesting options for Hopkins, those being Dawson or Adamek. Bute this week was the target of Allan Green, whom it now looks like will be left out of the Super Six tournament because of Jermain Taylor’s foolish current path to remain in the event.

It’s looking more and more like when Miguel Cotto returns, it’ll be at junior middleweight on Puerto Rican Day Parade weekend, either to take on Yuri Foreman or Kermit Cintron. Either of those fights are interesting, but I’m not sure I’d put Cotto in with a killer puncher like Cintron coming off a prolonged beating at the hands of Pacquiao.

If middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik wins this weekend against Miguel Espino (duh), his promoter Top Rank is taking a look at Felix Sturm. Hey, Pavlik fighting somebody legit! What’s up with that? And don’t sleep on Sturm in that fight — Sturm can box, and that could give Pavlik some trouble.

The IBF has decided that a bout between Ali Funeka and Rolando Reyes should decide its lightweight belt-holder, which works for me. Funeka deserves another shot after getting ripped off against Joan Guzman, and Reyes is the next available contender. I’d like to see that fight on an HBO undercard.

We’re entering the “fat heavyweight” section of Round and Round. Fat heavyweight Chris Arreola will fight again in March, with his promoter liking the idea of him headlining an HBO card and his trainer not ruling out Tony Thompson as an opponent but only promising “credible” names. Fat heavyweight David Tua will not fight in Atlantic City Feb. 6 because of an unspecified “family matter,” but he will still fight in March in New Zealand against Friday Ahunanya, which is an acceptable if not particularly ideal bout as Tua tries to do enough to move up the WBO rankings but not take too many risks.

Anyone interested in Antonio Tarver fighting James Toney (fat heavyweight)? No? Me neither. But they’re talking about it anyway. And the trash-talking would be fun, as both men are masters, plus if Toney must fight on, shot as I believe him to be, I’d rather have him fight another old dude than somebody like Arreola. Geriatric boxers, I’m guessing, have less a chance of hurting each other.

Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. loves to call out big names in boxing, but he’s probably going to spend some time on the bench for taking a banned diuretic, which is why once-prospective opponent John Duddy is looking at an “all-Irish showdown” against Neil Sinclair, whose resume is unimpressive. You can believe that the Chavez diuretic was used to mask steroids, one frequent use for athletes, or you can believe that Chavez needed it to lose pounds, which is its own pitiful statement considering how soft his body looked in his last appearance as a middleweight. Anyway, the latest big name he’s called out is Sergio Martinez, against whom Chavez may soon be entitled a mandatory title shot, laughably. Martinez says he’ll take the fight, which, of course he would — he’d tear up Chavez like a pack of killer whales on a baby seal. Loved his trash talking response, too: “Chavez Jr. can show up and take any performance enhancing drugs he wants and he’ll still go to sleep. If he wants to go to sleep in Mexico, I will be more than happy to travel to Mexico and put him to sleep, and he can use whatever performance enhancing drugs he wants.” Fantastic. I hope the fight happens. I’m done with the Chavez, Jr. fraud.

Round and Round sources: news releases; BoxingScene; MaxBoxing; Fightnews; 8countnews; Newsday; BoxingInsider; Boxingtalk)

About Tim Starks

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