Round And Round: The Latest On Kelly Pavlik – Paul Williams, Shane Mosley – Joshua Clottey; Timothy Bradley, Marcos Maidana In Flux; Andre Berto – Jay-Z?; More

Nothing, and I mean nothing, has gone right for Shane Mosley since the #1 welterweight and top-5 pound-for-pound boxer knocked out Antonio Margarito in January (Mosley, left, Margarito, right; credit: Getty Images). There was no Floyd Mayweather, Jr., nor any Manny Pacquiao, nor any Miguel Cotto. And now he may not even get the second-tier fight he wanted to close out 2009. I’m pretty sure if I was Sugar Shane, my whole house would be pockmarked by holes I’d punched in the walls out of the pure frustration.
Mosley is, once more, at or near the top of the list in Round And Round (the feature that usually runs in this column), where we explore what fights are in the works, what fights aren’t, and what fights are mere pipe dreams. I’d love to move Mosley out of this feature. Love to. Instead, he joins the likes of Paulie Malignaggi, Odlanier Solis, Devon Alexander and others in this week’s edition all in the hunt for their next opponents.

Round And Round
If you’ve seen reports out there saying, “Kelly Pavlik-Paul Williams is back on for Dec. 5!” I’d advise you to read closely the underlying news upon which that conclusion is based. Pavlik, the middleweight champ, never was set to go. Williams promoter Goossen-Tutor hasn’t signed off on the fight, only indicating that the situation involving Pavlik’s staph infection looks promising. In fact, Pavlik still hasn’t received medical clearance, according to his own team. Settle down everyone.
So HBO has completely screwed over Mosley. Mosley had the Dec. 5 date earmarked, but he and Golden Boy moved off it at HBO’s request to Dec. 26. Now, Dec. 26 is a weird date, sure. But it’s the date HBO gave. Now, they’re trying to push Mosley to Jan. 30, which is a date light heavyweight Bernard Hopkins already had in mind, and Hopkins, like Mosley, is an official with Golden Boy Promotions. Clottey and Mosley both want to fight before 2009 ends, so if HBO won’t do Dec. 26, Clottey may fight on the undercard of something in December or the other just to stay fresh, which would potentially jeopardize the Jan. 30 bout anyhow; HBO wants Andre Berto for Mosley on that date, perhaps, but Berto is contemplating doing a couple lesser fights with Showtime, and assorted other frivolities that we’ll get to in a moment. HBO just needs to deal. Staples Center, by my reading of their website, isn’t doing anything the weekend before Dec. 26, so I’m not sure what the problem is with moving Mosley-Clottey up one week. Dick move by HBO, basically.
Junior lightweights Robert Guerrero and Roman Martinez — the latter fighting this weekend — have both talked openly about wanting to fight one another. The idea ought to make you want to smack your momma. It’s that good a fight, in my view. Martinez also wants Humberto Soto. Whatever, either fight is fantastic, but Guerrero wants it, so I’d love to see it on the early 2010 calendar, if not sooner.
A much-anticipated showdown between fresh, evenly-matched heavyweight contenders Odlanier Solis and Kevin Johnson is now off an Oct. 10 Top Rank pay-per-view, and frankly it now makes that card near worthless, as the rest is just a series of mismatches. The reason cited? Johnson argued that he was too close to a title shot against WBC strapholder Vitali Klitschko. I just checked the WBC rankings, and Johnson is ranked #6. I guess Klitschko has indicated he wants Johnson next? This one smells funny to me.
Ultra-complicated junior welterweight situation #1: Timothy Bradley was to headline a Dec. 5 Showtime card — potentially a tripleheader, even — against Lamont Peterson. But his alphabet sanctioning organization, the WBO, is, in my opinion, dicking him over with some weird regulations that would make it so he, the titleholder, would get a smaller share of the purse than he deserves. So that fight may not happen Dec. 5 after all. And, in fact, if Berto did that Showtime deal, the network wants him to fight Bradley next year, presumably at welterweight. But the fights that are up for consideration the night of Dec. 5, besides Bradley-Peterson, are Vic Darchinyan-Tomas Rojas at junior bantamweight; Joan Guzman-Ali Funeka at lightweight; and Marco Huck-Ola Afolabi at cruiserweight. Really, other than perhaps Darchinyan-Rojas, all of those are excellent, competitive fights. It’s too bad they picked Dec. 5, since Pavlik-Williams will probably be that week.
Ultra-complicated junior welterweight situation #2: Marcos Maidana has a whole lotta options. He is expected to fight on HBO on Nov. 28. Previously discussed options included Devon Alexander — who may fight Steve Forbes or Nate Campbell next if not Maidana — and Kendall Holt. But Campbell is also an option for Maidana. And so, it turns out is Lamont Peterson. And then, Maidana is next in line for the winner of Amir Khan-Dmitriy Salita, who would be the WBA titlist for the division. The WBA has ordered that the winner of that fight has a mere 90 days to fight Maidana, and while I’m all for boxers fighting more regularly, I’m not comfy with the WBA mandating it. Lastly, Maidana may not even get a chance to be on HBO because of a dispute involving South American television rights. All I know is, I like the idea of Maidana fighting Holt, Alexander, Peterson or Campbell, in that order, and I want to see it if it happens.
More Darchinyan — his team says he wants Marvin Sonsona, and so do Sonsona’s people, but later. As of now, Sonsona’s gonna fight again Nov. 21 in Canada in what presumably would be a soft title defense. Darchinyan is a step up from Sonsona’s last opponent, Jose Lopez, but to be honest I’d rather see Sonsona-Darchinyan sooner rather than later. What’s Sonsona got to lose? If he is defeated, everyone will understand that he’s a 19-year-old with more to learn. If he wins, he’s suddenly on a whole new level in his native Philippines. I understand if they don’t want to rush the kid into a Darchinyan fight, but they’ve already rushed him some, and it’s a worthwhile gamble if you ask me.
It’s not that big a fight in America, but with Koki Komeda’s Sept. 5 win set up a junior bantamweight bout against Daisuke Naito that, according to numerous respectable accounts, could end up being the biggest fight in Japanese boxing history. Fascinating.
Another couple American heavyweights, Malik Scott and Tony Thompson, are expected to fight Oct. 22. I don’t have anything else to say about that, really.
Apparently there were rumors of a junior welterweight-ish clash between Paulie Malignaggi and Zab Judah. Why would anyone give Judah a chance at anything, given his erratic behavior when it comes to showing up for the fight? But I guess it would be a fight that could get some love in NYC, even if it sounds like it would be boring as hell.
As expected, Roy Jones, Jr.-Danny Green at cruiserweight is a go for Dec. 2 in Australia. Here’s another fight that will probably be bigger in another country than it is here. But Jones-Green isn’t a bad fight on paper, anyway.
Back to Berto, for the third time. MTV had a story about him wanting to fight Jay-Z. This, after Berto has been trying to lure football player Chad Ocho Cinco into the ring. Look, if this was just for the chance to get his name mentioned on MTV, I get it. But wouldn’t it be nice if Berto would focus on fighting a good and qualified opponent instead of scoffing at being offered a tiny sum like $750,000 on HBO?
(Round And Round sources: ESPN; MTV; Fightnews; RingTV; Cleveland Plain Dealer; BoxingScene; Boxingtalk; news releases)

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.