Quick Jabs: Cotto, Lopez Want You To Wash Your Hands; More On The Weekend, With Jones-Lacy, Shumenov-Campillo And Others; Mucho Gracias, Oscar Larios; And Much More


To your right is a poster for perhaps the most important light heavyweight fight of the weekend. On Saturday, Beibut Shumenov will try to become the light heavyweight titlist who achieved that goal in the fewest number of fights: Nine. That’s assuming it happens, by the way. Universum claims it has an option on Gabriel Campillo and has been trying to get the bout halted. If the bout happens as scheduled, Shumenov is actually more battle-tested against experienced names, strangely enough, but Campillo did win the title in an upset, so no reason he can’t keep it that way. Should be interesting.
That’s not to say that Shumenov-Campillo is the BIGGEST light heavyweight title fight of the weekend. That, of course, is Roy Jones, Jr.-Jeff Lacy, also on Saturday. We’ll have a few more notes on that card, which, I would remind you (I’m a little excited about it), will be guest-blogged this weekend by friend of the site and fellow boxing blogger Scott Kraus, so stay tuned to this space for that. But there are a lot more tidbits in this edition of Quick Jabs than the weekend schedule, among them the items in the headline; what’s in the works for Wladimir Klitschko, Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins, Nate Campbell and others; a bit more on Universum’s recent run of unfortunate business; and much more.

The Rest Of The Weekend

So a bit more on Jones-Lacy. Someone from gofightlive.tv dropped by TQBR the other day to offer a $2 discount on the card ($34.95 in the U.S., $19.95 international) to anyone who e-mailed him and said he or she saw the offer via The Queensberry Rules. But his e-mail address wasn’t visible in the comment he posted, so I pass it along to you here: dklarman@gofightlive.tv. A note on the undercard: A., maligned but not untalented cruiserweight B.J. Flores is fighting recent super middleweight Epifanio Mendoza in what should be an easy win for Flores, despite Mendoza’s toughness; B., light heavyweight Danny Green is fighting someone who probably has no business being in the ring with him, but Green can’t very well risk a possible shot at Jones that might come if he wins; and C., Verquan Kimbrough, who was in line for a lightweight title fight with Paulus Moses before the bout had to be scrapped, will be fighting Jason Litzau, which might be an interesting fight given Litzau’s record of all-action fights and Kimbrough’s credentials, except Litzau was vulnerable in the chin department as a featherweight. Still, it could end up being the most competitive fight of the night because Kimbrough doesn’t knock people out much, and at least at featherweight, Litzau did.
A note on the other Saturday pay-per-view card, Pinoy Power 2: Junior flyweight Brian Viloria, a really good “talker” in boxing, will be in the announcing booth, and hopefully he’ll prove well-suited for the mic in a sport where ex-athletes rarely have anything interesting to say. Mark Melligen, the Filipino junior welterweight prospect who has some people excited, has a last-minute replacement opponent who should be a lot less competitive than the original foe, who either knocks his man out or gets knocked out. So that fight goes from “potentially interesting showcase” to “just straight up showcase.” Also on the card is lightweight contender Anthony Peterson, but not televised, as I understand it; Peterson earlier this year had to pull out of a good fight with Edner Cherry when he heard a “clicking noise” in his knee, so I guess that explains why his Saturday opponent has lost seven of his last nine…?
Tonight offers three viewing options domestically. The best is on Telemundo (how often is that the case?): Antonio Pitalua-Jose Reyes at lightweight. Pitalua got knocked out in his last fight, but everyone gets knocked out by Edwin Valero; the fact remains that he carries big power. Reyes is kind of the opposite — he doesn’t get knocked out, but he knock people out much, either. He’s given a rough time to the likes of Antonio DeMarco, so no reason to think he won’t do the same to Pitalua. Over on ESPN2′s Friday Night Fights, junior welterweight Vivian Harris tries to revive his career against Noe Bolanos. Bolanos isn’t much, but I give him a shot because I think Harris is so shot I have no idea why Golden Boy Promotions signed him, unless the idea is to feed him to Victor Ortiz on the comeback trail. And heavyweight Brian Minto is more of a work horse than a talent, but he’s fun to watch and he’s now being trained by Freddie Roach, so if you want to tune in to his fight Friday night, you can catch it via Armstrong Cable (PA/OH/WV/VA/MD) or for a 10-spot via nesportstv.com.
Quick Jabs
I don’t speak Spanish, but some pals on Twitter — @boxingdawg, @brownmamba1 — informed me that these videos of Puerto Rican boxers Miguel Cotto (welterweight) and Juan Manuel Lopez (junior featherweight) involve both men telling you to wash your hands. So wash them. You don’t want to get beaten up for not washing your hands, do you?
Oscar Larios has wisely retired, so I want to express my gratitude to him for doing so — he had a brain bleed and it was making the sport look bad for him to be fighting — and more importantly, for his career. Larios, in his career at junior featherweight and featherweight, was in three Fight of the Year candidates. And he wasn’t just fun to watch; he had quality wins over Israel Vazquez and Wayne McCullogh. Guys like Larios don’t often get their careers written up when they retire, but I just want Larios to know, if he’s out there reading somewhere, that I thank him for his wonderful and thrilling career. Muchos gracias. Take the rest of your life easy — you did it the hard way in the ring….
Paul Williams’ trainer George Peterson, who’s a candidate for Trainer of the Year if Williams beats middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik Oct. 3, had some very serious trash talk for Pavlik here. I think he’s wrong about some of it — if Williams’ team thinks Pavlik has a “china chin,” they’re in for a surprise, maybe the worst kind. Pavlik’s team has been more measured, with trainer Jack Loew offering only that Williams, a good fighter, hasn’t had his chin tested by a big middleweight before. Right attitude. Also of note is that Pavlik’s team got a rematch clause. Let’s hope it’s good enough that if Pavlik does lose, we want to see it again….
In boxing/justice news, another suspect is in custody in the Vernon Forrest slaying, this time the alleged triggerman. And heavyweight Nicolay Valuev faces up to five years in prison for allegedly assaulting a security guard. As everyone is innocent until proven guilty, I have no comment on either charge. I pass along only for informational value…
The good news is that if you have Fight Night Round 4 on Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, there’s a package you can download to include Oscar De La Hoya, the Klitschko brothers and a few other mods to the game. The bad news is that it costs $9.99…


Recent occasions where boxers “crossed over” to other sports, in a photo here and below: 1. lightweight Juan Diaz throwing out the first pitch for the Houston Astros last week, via a news release and 2. near the end of the post, Lacy and Jones hanging out with the New Orleans Saints this week…
It’s a real shame that “less than” 5,000 tickets out of the 17,000 or so capacity of MGM Grand will be made available to the general public for the 145-pound Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto fight. For fans who don’t have thousands of dollars to spend, it’s even worse news. Friend of the site Steve informs me that for Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton, $150 and $300 tickets were gone within a minute. That means the ticket broker market blows up the prices and screws fans. Pisses me off. For nosebleed seats, prices are up to $338. For ringside seats, we’re talking a whopping $22,536. And it’s only going to get worse. I guess it’s great that demand is so high for the fight, but it really isn’t fair…
Universum, one of the big German boxing promoters, is in bad, bad shape all a sudden. Middleweight Felix Sturm, its biggest star, says he’s leaving. A TV deal they had is going to be squished down, the result of the economy continuing to inhabit the toilet. Junior middleweight Sergei Dzinziruk is saying he’s leaving, too, soured as he was that he didn’t get the Williams fight. They may or may not win the Campillo-rights case, but if they don’t, that’s one less economic boost for them. All of this stuff happened this week. I’ve not often had the highest regard for how Universum does business, but I almost have sympathy pangs for ’em…
Hatton is just the latest retired or semi-retired British boxer to say “boxing is dying,” joining Joe Calzaghe. STFU, you F’ing Brits. Of course, Hatton also is simultaneously trying to make his name as a boxing promoter. I’m reminded of the bit in Bertrand Russell’s “Why I’m Not A Christian,” where the congregation took comfort when the priest preaching that second coming was just around the corner continued to plant trees in his garden…
The boxing promoters association already has its first feud. Dino Duva is peeved at Don King, alleging that welterweight prospect John De La Rosa declared bankruptcy so that King could steal Duva from him. This specific maneuver — bankruptcy, promoter switch — was something that was on the association’s front burner. Is anyone surprised that King was the first promoter to throw the apple of discord into this association idea?…
Notice anything missing from the below photo at the Quaker State booth from the most recent Fight Night Club card? That’s right: Friend of the site JohnPaulFutbol isn’t holding the highly coveted Quaker State Durability Belt that is rightfully his. I don’t want to speak out of school, but something tells me that JPF will soon rectify this situation. And it’s my promise that if he does, I will publish that photo.
Round And Round
Not that much in the works, actually, because the fall schedule is getting all jam-packed. If Dan Rafael has anything in his notebook today worth mentioning, I’ll just throw it up on the Twitter feed in the upper right hand corner.
The clash between Shane Mosley and Andre Berto doesn’t appear likely for December anymore, sadly, which affects any number of welterweights. Mosley is more likely now to face Joshua Clottey next, which is a hell of a consolation prize. Kermit Cintron, who also was in the running to fight Mosley, is now most likely to take a stay-busy fight in Puerto Rico, which isn’t what he deserves coming off a great win over Alfredo Angulo but which is better than sitting around waiting. Berto is most likely to face Isaac Hlatshwayo, a decent fight but not as good as a Mosley fight or a rematch with Luis Collazo. Collazo’s in a weird spot. He reportedly wanted a lot of money to fight Berto, but he’s also the mandatory challenger for Berto’s belt, so I wonder what happens if it goes to purse bid. Berto’s also said there’s a possibility he drops his belt and just tries to take Hlatshwayo’s. What I don’t understand is why HBO would pay Berto more for Hlatshwayo than for Collazo, as has been reported might be the case. Is it because Hlatshwayo is demanding less cash than Collazo, meaning more money is available to Berto?


Also unlikely this year is Bernard Hopkins-Tomasz Adamek for Adamek’s cruiserweight championship, which presents a quandary to all parties. HBO won’t be happy about Adamek taking a heavyweight fight against Andrew Golota, an option that is now on the table despite earlier refutations from Adamek’s promoter, but that’s Adamek’s biggest potential paycheck, apparently, before 2010. If Golota beats Adamek, Hopkins suddenly doesn’t have as interesting a fight, and Hopkins doesn’t want to risk seeing that fight go away for January, near his 45th birthday, a nice little marketing angle. On the other hand, Hopkins’ other option for around that time, the winner of the light heavyweight rematch between Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson, might not be ready in January after fighting Nov. 7. Incidentally, Dawson is looking at Hopkins (good), Jean Pascal (good) or (ick) Jones next.
Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is likely to fight one of the mandatory challengers to one of his belts, Eddie Chambers, Dec. 12. Chambers has just about as good a chance of beating Klitschko as anybody, which is to say not much, but that doesn’t mean Klitschko shouldn’t fight him. Chambers is also as qualified to fight Klitschko as just about anybody.
There have been some minor rumblings, including from Amir Khan’s promoter Frank Warren, that a junior welterweight Khan-Timothy Bradley bout could be in the works. I like it. I won’t pick against Bradley anytime soon after he proved me wrong in three — three! — fights, but Khan has the speed and length to potentially trouble Bradley, and Khan can’t just pick the safest available opponent indefinitely, even if Bradley may not have the power to dent Khan’s shaky chin. Both have mandatory belt challengers to deal with first, though — Bradley vs. Lamont Peterson and Khan vs. Dimitriy Salita. Relatedly, another junior welterweight titlist, Devon Alexander, might be fighting Nate Campbell next. It makes sense for both Don King fighters.
Junior middleweight Sergio Martinez could have prospect Joe Greene on deck, or maybe Sergei Dzinziruk. Both are good fights. I’d like to see either. Martinez just missed out on the Pavlik sweepstakes, and Dzinziruk, as mentioned before, just missed out on the Williams sweepstakes. Where else is there to go?
Another Martinez, Roman, wants to fight Humberto Soto. It would be nice if any quality young junior lightweight — Robert Guerrero? Jorge Linares? Soto? Martinez? — fought any other quality junior lightweight. Instead they just talk and talk and talk about fighting each other and don’t. (I guess Guerrero-Malcolm Klassen ain’t half bad.) Instead, Marti
nez might have two more fights before he even gets to Soto.
The aforementioned Angulo is likely to fight Harry Joe Yorgey on the Dawson-Johnson II undercard on HBO. It’s about the right kind of fight for the still-rebounding Angulo right now, and Yorgey deserved another nice paycheck after his upset knockout of Ron Hearns.
Jorge Arce will fight Simphiwe Nongqayi for the junior bantamweight belt Vic Darchinyan vacated. Arce is vowing to avenge his brother, whom Nongqayi defeated to earn the title shot. I’ve expressed my reservations about Arce continuing to fight on, but Nongqayi is not some crazy big puncher, so this should be a pretty good test of what he has left.
(Round And Round sourcing: BoxingScene; RingTV; BoxingTalk; Fightnews; Maxboxing)

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.