Quick Jabs: Klitschko-Chagaev Hits ESPN Classic; Mayweather + Obama Vs. Marquez + Calderon; Judah Sells Puppies; More

So many Jabs to Quicken, so little time. Other subjects, besides those in the headline: the failure of Miguel Cotto’s team to check Antonio Margarito’s wraps; Guillermo Rigondeaux gets scarier with the ultimate trainer; NFL star Brandon Jacobs aspires to boxing glory; what’s up with bouts like Chad Dawson-Glen Johnson II and Tomasz Adamek-Steve Cunningham II, among others; and much more.

Quick Jabs

ESPN Classic is kindly picking up Wladimir Klitschko-Ruslan Chageav June 20 for the real heavyweight championship of the world. This fight will suck, I promise you. But it’s an important fight, and I’m glad it’s found a home. In other televised boxing news, Showtime is picking up the middleweight June 27 Arthur Abraham-Mahir Oral fight, which is fine, except for unless they got it at a steal of a price, is kind of a waste of money when there’s not much  cash going around these days. I can’t expect the ratings for that being all that good, since there’s an HBO card that night and a Top Rank pay-per-view that night, so I really don’t get the thinking. Additionally, you may have read that DirecTV is broadcasting the fight between junior flyweight champion Ivan Calderon and Rodel Mayol this weekend, but that’s only in Puerto Rico, from the news releases I can find — it ain’t being offered here in D.C., anyway, according to my search. Fortunately, though, its broadcast anywhere means that someone will probably offer a pirated feed somewhere or it’ll show up on YouTube, and the second I find it on YouTube, it’s my promise that I’ll post it here…

I’m more opposed now than I was about the idea of The Ring making its belt available to the winner of Klitschko-Chagaev, despite the explanation the publication provided. I quote: “Although the fight had just become a possibility, Collins and the magazine’s editorial board had already considered the scenario. ‘Ever since Vitali Klitschko returned and earned a number-two ranking in our ratings I received a number of emails — mostly from Europe — asking if we would recognize the winner of a Wladimir Klitschko-Chagaev fight as our champion if it ever happened,’ Collins said. Even months ago, the editors leaned toward yes. ‘We knew we didn’t have time to poll the Ratings Panel but we decided that the match-up was worthy because we really couldn’t come up with a good reason why it shouldn’t be for the RING title,’ Collins said.” I wish the magazine would explain its reasoning a little bit better than “why not?” In the print issue on the stands now — admittedly, one of my complaints about the magazine is that it is months behind events — the magazine wrote: “And if nobody beats any Klitschkos, that means we have to wait for one of them to retire before we can consider crowning a real champion, since they will never, ever fight each other…” So I wonder why the magazine reconsidered, even as a Klitschko for the first time broached the idea of maybe fighting the other, however far-fetched that seems…

This remark was first made weeks ago, as it happens, but I just saw it, and it’s a little shocking: Cotto’s team never checked Margarito’s wraps before their fight last year. “We made the mistake of not sending anybody to check the way [Margarito trainer Javier] Capetillo was wrapping his hands,” Cotto said. “We didn’t check. Today, we can’t talk about it because we didn’t know what happened.” This is dereliction of duty in the extreme, if true, especially since Margarito’s wraps were found to be loaded in a fight this year. And why didn’t the Nevada commission ensure someone from the opposition was in the room when Margarito’s wraps occurred?…

I have to applaud the audacity of Floyd Mayweather and Juan Manuel Marquez inviting the presidents of their respective countries to their fight July 18. I’d be surprised if either accepted, but I’m all for aiming high and/or creative publicity stunts, so, good move. That said, I can’t not make fun of Mayweather for the latest entries in the “Mayweather won’t fight someone his own size” meme. 1. Mayweather recently defended his decision to fight lightweight champion Marquez by saying Oscar De La Hoya had fought two men who’d moved up from lightweight, Manny Pacquiao and Shane Mosley. “Why, if it’s good for Oscar, isn’t it good for me?” Mayweather asks. Floyd, Floyd, Floyd. Almost EVERYONE criticized Oscar for fighting Manny. And Mosley had two fights at welterweight before he fought De La Hoya. Is this guy ever selective with the facts. 2. It’s gotten so bad that Ivan Calderon, the 108-pound champion, has mocked Mayweather. “After I win my fight at the Garden on Saturday night, I’m going for Floyd Mayweather Jr. next, since he only wants to fight guys smaller than him.” Blam. Also: I love Calderon a lot more than I did yesterday because of this…

If you liked the idea of Guillermo Rodongeaux as a pro even after his tepid initial showing, the junior featherweight just got a ton scarier: Freddie Roach, the best trainer in the biz, has agreed to train ‘im. If you think about what Roach did for the career of a raw talent like Pacquiao, imagine what he can do for someone who’s already so skilled. That Roach-James Toney marriage was pretty profitable, wasn’t it?…

NFL star Brandon Jacobs wants to become a boxing manager after he retires. I welcome it. All the star power boxing can get, it should take. I just hope Jacobs is ready for the hornet’s nest of politics he’s getting ready to step into…

Sanctioning Body Politics Stupidity Department: The IBF recently ordered a rematch between its flyweight beltholder, Nonito Donaire, and Moruti Mthalane. First off, not going to happen, because Donaire is moving up to junior bantamweight. Second off, they only ordered the rematch after they failed to find anyone else who could fight an eliminator, and they went all the way down to guys ranked #9 and #12. In theory, “mandatory challengers” can produce good results, if a quality contender who’s unable to get a title shot for one reason or the other earns it through the mandatory challenger process. More often than not, you just end up with ridiculously idiotic gymnastics to justify a mandatory challenger, any mandatory challenger…

USA Boxing is making some changes after the 2008 debacle. They’re allowing boxers’ trainers to continue training them, rather than turning them over entirely to a new training team. I think a hybrid approach would work best…

Did you know that Zab Judah has a puppy store in Las Vegas? He was hyping it on Twitter the other day, assuming (as I do) that @superjudah is the real Judah. “i got the best in the country,” stuff like that. Just one question: Would you buy a puppy from Zab Judah?…

You probably saw it by now, but here’s legendary boxing writer George Kimball’s response to me over his piece on Ring belt politics, and my response is in the comments
section. I retain a healthy respect for Kimball (despite his line about me being “less hysterical,” which implies some hystericalness) and was more than happy to have a civil, public debate with him over his work…

If I’m a junior middleweight, the last substitute opponent I call for a Friday Night Fights gig from here on out is Carlos Molina, who’s pulled two late-substitute upsets on the show. But Molina’s proven himself as a very nice fighter now, and I’d like to see him get a good fight where he has ample time to prepare. He’s a dangerous, tough legit opponent, and if he pulls off another one of these, especially in another step up, we’ve got to start thinking about him as potentially a top-10-worthy guy in his division, right?…

I didn’t like Alfredo Angulo badmouthing Kermit Cintron recently in the aftermath of his loss in their junior middleweight fight. Look, man, you just got beat, and saying the other guy didn’t fight like a “man” is less manly than manning up and acknowledging you weren’t as good as him that night. Show some class, Angulo. It’s also one of the oldest excuses in the book…

I just like this headline: “Bob Huggins attends fundraiser dressed like Ricky Hatton.”

Round And Round

Fights in the works!

Chad Dawson-Glen Johnson II is officially signed and will air on HBO, according to a news release I got today. But the light heavyweight clash still doesn’t have a date. All in all, though, this is great news.

Another sequel I’d love to see, Tomasz Adamek-Steve Cunningham II for Adamek’s cruiserweight championship, was the subject of a very interesting piece here. I understand the reasoning for the delay, but it remains disappointing to me. I guess, though, this is one instance of the sanctioning belt mandatory challenger clock being right twice a day, because Adamek-Cunningham II may happen in the next year or so no matter what.

Man, is middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik’s team ever dicking around with fights that aren’t the one we all want to see most, against Abraham. There’s talk of a Felix Sturm fight in October, which isn’t a terrible fight or anything, but isn’t what we want. Then, the talk is of Pavlik fighting super middleweight Carl Froch next, in 2010. None of this explains what will happen with the Pavlik-Sergio Mora fight that got cancelled or postponed or whatever. It is, as always, entirely possible that Bob Arum is just screwing with us. But it’s disappointing that Pavlik-Abraham isn’t, as of now, publicly on the frontburner.

I think I actually slobbered on myself a little when I read that there had been talks for a heavyweight fight between David Haye and Chris Arreola. Forget what division it’s in — that’s maybe the best pure slugfest in the sport right now. It may not happen depending on what happens with the much-discussed but legally-complicated Arreola fight with Vitali Klitschko, but if it does, watch out.

Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi have agreed to meet Aug. 22 at the strange weight of 138.5, between Diaz’ lightweight and Malignaggi’s junior welterweight. Malignaggi promoter Lou DiBella said, humorously: “I told Paulie to lay off his Grandma’s pasta and eat one less cannoli.” I honestly have very little interest in this fight, despite being a Diaz fan, because I’ve turned on Malignaggi a good deal owing to his recent showings and the crappy blame job he’s done on ex-trainer Buddy McGirt, Jr. But I guess it makes sense for both dudes. Also potentially on that same card is Robert Guerrero versus Malcom Klassen for Klassen’s junior lightweight belt. It’s short of what I want Guerrero to do next, but it’s a legit fight. And the third potential fight on that card is a really interesting one: One of my favorite prospects, super middleweight Daniel Jacobs, could end up fighting Peter Manfredo.

But here’s the ultimate fight of all time. John Duddy-Hector Camacho, Jr., presumably at junior middleweight or middleweight. This has been discussed. I’m not lying.

(Sourcing for Round And Round: The Sweet Science; ESPN; news releases; BoxingScene; Fightnews)

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., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

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