It’s slow going in boxing this week, and with but one major exception and a couple minor ones, it’s slow going in boxing this month. Still, there are a few things to discuss.
For instance: Eddie Chambers, at right (photo credit Jan Sanders, Goossen Tutor Promotions) put together by what all accounts was an impressive performance in defeating Alexander Dimitrenko in Germany Saturday, which will earn him a mandatory title shot against heavweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he was nearly at his sleekest, weighing no more than 209 pounds — accounts vary from 205 to 209 pounds — which maybe was even a little small for him. Still, Chambers’ assets are his great boxing technique and speed, and at 6’1″, he shouldn’t be plumping up the way he did in his last fight and clearly learned the lesson. He was the aggressor in the fight, knocking Dimitrenko down twice. This was perceived as an upset, although I’m not sure why — maybe my affection for Fast Eddie led me to believe he’d handle the 6’7″ lug. He won’t get Wladimir any time soon, and no amount of affection will lead me to pick him to beat Wladimir, but it’s great to see an American heavyweight climb the ranks of the division.
Also in this edition of Quick Jabs: A few fights in the works, although not very many; goings-on with Joshua Clottey, Alexander Povetkin and Guillermo Rigondeaux; and a few items more.
In other weekend action, cruiserweight Darnell “Ding-A-Ling Man” Wilson got knocked out for the first time, taking on Grigory Drozd. If it wasn’t already, it’s now the end of the line for Wilson as a legitimate contender. With his power, he’ll always be fun, but reports
had Drozd thoroughly outboxing him, so power isn’t enough in his case…
All right, I know I’ve been practically BEGGING that everyone stop calling Floyd Mayweather by his preferred nickname “Money,” but the AP report
about him owing more than $6 million to various folk, mostly the IRS — although it must be said he can’t even pay his trash collector, owing about $300 — really ought to kill that noise, right? There’s hardly anything that annoys me more in the sport these days than Mayweather’s one dimensional “I’m rich” shtick, and the insulting way in which he throws money in everyone’s face — including boxing fans who pay exorbitant prices to watch him fight. It might be clever if it wasn’t so sub-WWF-Million Dollar Man, who at least made it funny. It’s just as annoying when his worshippers pray at the church of calling him “Mr. Cash Money” and all that sub-sub-rap lyrics junk. (And for the record, I want boxers to be rich — they are in a very difficult line of work, and deserve it. It’s the flaunting it that bothers me.) So: It’s beyond obvious now why Mayweather is returning to the ring, and it’s because he needs the cash. It was probably pretty obvious before, but it ought to be crystal clear after this. Forget that “IRS will get you if it wants, Wesley Snipes” line from Leonard Ellerbe — it’s not that fast a process, and a lien meant something last time Mayweather had one, too. And I don’t feel an ounce of sympathy for him needing dough, the way I do other boxers who were significantly more humble albeit just as prone to throwing away their cash in foolish ways…
In other Mayweather news, there’s a report
about a lightweight amateur sparring partner being the one who did in Mayweather’s ribs to force the postponement of his comeback. The amateur in question does appear to be a decent one, based on the story, but it’s a little embarrassing if the story is true for Mayweather, a welterweight, to be injured by someone two weight classes lower who isn’t even a professional. Of course, Mayweather’s next opponent is the lightweight champion of the world, Juan Manuel Marquez, and he’s a good body puncher. There are a million reasons to doubt the story: tales of sparring glory are always a little suspect; there are questions about whether Mayweather was ever really injured; it all could be some plot to sell the public on the possibility Marquez can win, especially given the poor sales for the fight when it was originally scheduled. Still, it’s food for thought. It came around the same time those old “what weight is Mayweather-Marquez at?” questions
returned, and that no established journalist in the boxing world has gotten anyone ON THE RECORD to just say what the weight is remains one of the stupidest failures of boxing reportage maybe in the history of mankind…
Another welterweight, Clottey, is considering
a trainer switch. The only thing Clottey needs to do differently is throw more punches and learn how to throw them while on the move. I’m not of the same mind as others that he faded, per se, down the stretch against Miguel Cotto. I think it was a stylistic question. Clottey is by nature cautious and defensive-minded, and he can be outworked in any given fight as a result, especially by someone who is moving and making it hard for him to plant and throw…
Other trainer switch news: heavyweight Alexander Povetkin is getting a look from Teddy Atlas, who mentioned he’d do a trial run last weekend during the broadcast of Friday Night Fights. I can’t figure this one out. Povetkin is due his own mandatory title shot at Wladimir Klitschko, and Atlas has consistently picked Klitschko to lose in recent years against opponents who basically had no hope. Clearly, Atlas doesn’t understand Klitschko. Why pick someone to be your trainer who has the totally wrong idea about your next opponent?…
The lesson of this story and photo
: Don’t mess with 72-year-old retired boxers…
Too bad about featherweight prospect Guillermo Rigondeaux being in a legal battle
. Here’s hoping it doesn’t slow his career, which already has gotten off to a late start…
about the Ring championship policy completely misses the point of the sanctioning organizations. They exist to make money for themselves, and the more title belts they hand out, the more title fights they sanction, the more fees they get. “Streamlining” them is a wholly unworkable idea — they would either have to charge HUGE sanctioning fees to get the same cash or they would make 1/4 less per “championship” fight than usual, or they’d have to suddenly find a charitable impulse and say, “You know, making money isn’t that important to us.” It will never happen. Never…
Mini-Round and Round: One of the better fights I can imagine, Jorge Linares-Humberto Soto
at junior lightweight, is a fight Linares wants
. I have my doubts Soto and his promoter Top Rank would, though. It would happen in 2010 if Linares got his way. Junior flyweight Edgar Sosa
in moving up one division to fight Daisuke Naito
. I’m not sure why. Sosa’s big in Mexico, Naito’s big in Japan, and there’s no more money in them fighting each other than in them fighting anyone else. Sosa just said he didn’t want to fight the two best guys in his own division other than him. Maybe he’s feeling some pressure? According to assorted news releases, heavyweight Chris Arreola
plans to fight in September one way or the other, Klitschko brother or no, and John Ruiz
has volunteered his services. I don’t see why that fight is any better or worse than any other Arreola could do then, and it’s got the all-Latin-heavyweight thing going for it, although, it must be said, it also has Ruiz in it, always a knock on any fight. Junior flyweight Brian Viloria
a title defense in August in the Philippines. And Showtime is reportedly
looking to put together a mouth-watering-sounding super middleweight tournament, but it sounds fairly speculative to me.