My vacation pushed back my posting schedule a little, but Indianapolis is in my rear view mirror and I’ve now caught up with a few of the other weekend developments — some mentioned above, some not — so we’re about to begin our marathon coverage of Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto. First, though, a bit more weekend reviewing to bang out (with “weekend” being very liberally defined to include “Monday” just because it gets me caught up to today, too).
David Haye-Nicolay Valuev. I’m late to the fight, but I only was able to catch it today. First, I had Haye winning the heavyweight bout 115-113, but a draw or Valuev win isn’t out of the question — in fact, I’m surprised Valuev didn’t get the decision in his native Germany. Second, as bad as Haye was to behold running around in circles like that, I’m willing to give him the slight benefit of the doubt on one level because he’s never tried to fight any other way than charging forward and leaving himself wide open; I can chalk this up to a learning experience, in other words. Or I can accept him at his word that he hurt his right hand in the early rounds and that explains why he stopped throwing it as much, as it’s true that he threw the right hand less after the first few rounds. [UPDATE: Hand injury looks quite legit. Check out this video, per Max in the comments section.] Of course, I’m not sure how inclined I am to give him the benefit of the doubt. He talked big and fought in a style that was not particularly manly. He wobbled Valuev badly in the 12th, which was interesting to see just from the standpoint of a 7-foot man’s body lose its coordination. But it also showed that Haye could have done more damage if he’d been a bit more aggressive.
Next for Haye. Haye has no choice but to fight John Ruiz next if he wants to keep his alphabet belt. Ruiz looked more exciting than I’ve ever seen him, such as that is, in his fight on the undercard, a 7th round KO of a stay-busy opponent that featured none of his trademark clinching. But Haye-Ruiz probably doesn’t excite many people because Ruiz never excites anyone and because the Haye bandwagon probably just got a little lighter after his performance. He says he still wants the Klitschko brothers, but I’m inclined to believe that unless he shows massive improvement compared to how he did against Valuev, the outside shot I gave him against Wladimir (I give him no shot against Vitali) has gone from unlikely to science fiction. Golden Boy Promotions’ Richard Schaefer was comparing him to Muhammad Ali after the fight, more for his “charisma” than his talent, and that’s a bit much even by the standard of boxing promoters. At this point, I’m not sure I’d favor Haye to beat the likes of Chris Arreola. I’m not sure where Valuev (who didn’t fight poorly, per se) goes next, by the way. My predictive powers tell me that the result of his next bout, if his career continues, will probably be “close fight that is a bit boring.” If he retires, I think he can take some satisfaction in proving over his boxing life that he could fight some and wasn’t just an oddity.
John Callas. ESPN’s Dan Rafael has some more details about the poor effort to protect junior middleweight Harry Joe Yorgey from himself when he bravely fired back amid a protracted and highly dangerous assault by Alfredo Angulo. I’d complained that Jack Loew, Yorgey’s trainer, should have stopped the fight sooner, but as it turns out, he tried to — only for a Connecticut inspector to prevent him from doing so. Hideous. Rafael mentions some other details I didn’t get a chance to, like the weird time referee John Callas separated the fighters for a little but didn’t call a knockdown, for some reason. Really, this was a total failure on many levels, but I’m singling out Callas because his performance was the shoddiest. I know Yorgey was still punching, but he was in no condition to take the shots he took, and somebody should have stopped the fight sooner.
Next for Chad Dawson and Glen Johnson. I left out a couple options for Dawson in the near future: The Super Six tournament at super middleweight, and heavyweight. No way was Dawson going to mention the Super Six in his post-fight interview with Max Kellerman, since that event is airing not on HBO but rival Showtime. I still was kind of rooting for him to say it. I had my fists all balled up and was yelling, “C’mon, mention the Super Six.” An even more implausible-sounding idea is that Dawson can fight at heavyweight, as Dawson’s promoter Gary Shaw was suggesting. Guy can’t crack at 175, how’s he going to keep any top-10 heavy off him? Nope, Jean Pascal seems to be the way it’s going for Dawson next, and that’s the fight I want for Dawson in the short-term. Johnson, meanwhile, is saying he’s taking calls but may give consideration to retirement.
Kelly Pavlik. Mere days after Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez gets signed with Martinez replacing middleweight champion Pavlik, Pavlik has a fight signed for a couple weeks after the Dec. 5 date Williams and Pavlik were supposed to sign. Williams’ trainer said it best (in between saying “spank butt” a few more times; dude has a real fetish) when he pointed out that Pavlik literally claimed to be on the verge of death just the other week, and now he’s got a fight scheduled? I’ve steadfastly refused to believe the “Pavlik is scared of Williams” theory, but I’m now pretty convinced. Just too many coincidences. Pavlik’s opponent in the pay-per-view will be Miguel Espino, a fighter of no real consequence who in his last bout knocked out a thoroughly shot Alejandro Garcia. Pavlik’s career is just a train wreck at this point.
Shane Mosley-Andre Berto, WBC. The welterweight fight between Mosley and Berto Jan. 30 will be announced Saturday, and HBO — rather than HBO pay-per-view — will air the bout. Coincidentally, that’s the day of Pacquiao-Cotto, so I guess this means the winner wants a shot at the winner of that fight? Or maybe they’re just piggybacking to get a little extra attention? Anyhow, BoxingScene gave my thoughts on Mosley a shout-out recently (<—“hey everybody look at me!”), which is my way of transitioning to another subject, that being David P. Greisman giving the WBC some hell over some of its recent crazy-ass decisions about things like whether cursing makes you a bad heavyweight. Greisman did something I wish I had, and I’m not saying that just because my back has been scratched: He dug up instances where the WBC conveniently forgave boxers for doing things they recently penalized other boxers for doing. Rafael did the same in the previous link.
Jorge Arce-Siphiwe Nongqayi II. Is this the rematch you’ve been praying to Jebus for every night? If so, good job, dickweed, because now it may happen.