‘Twas an eventful weekend, between a fantastic Miguel Cotto-Joshua Clottey fight and word that Manny Pacquiao now wants a piece of Cotto; news about Floyd Mayweather-Juan Manuel Marquez being postponed and the subsequent theories as to why; and a pair of other fights of note, Robert Guerrero-Efren Hinojosa and Ivan Calderon-Rodel Mayol, not to mention assorted other newsy bits. (There’s a little highlight clip above of Calderon-Mayol that is of almost no value, but no one has put the whole fight on YouTube yet so I figured it was better than nothing. [UPDATED: Friend of the site Scott found a link to a stream of Calderon-Mayol. You can check it out here
. My commentary updated below.])
- Mayweather-Marquez. Golden Boy Promotions announced yesterday that Mayweather had suffered a rib injury and the Marquez fight is off, at least for the time being. I’m not the sort to doubt training injuries absent evidence, but there is a lot of suspicion out there about whether there were other motives at work here. I make no judgement on those suspicions, although they do point to other interesting items that warrant discussion anyhow. Suspicion #1 is that Mayweather-Marquez tickets aren’t selling well and therefore it would be embarrassing to Mayweather if the trend continued between now and July 18. That raises a question that I’ll get to in a minute, but my first reaction is: It serves you right, Mayweather. Tickets, from what I’ve been told by friends of this site, are absurdly overpriced. That’s the consequence of demanding $15 million for a fight that is, according to many, a mismatch between a welterweight and lightweight. And, of course, it’s thought a bad style match-up, featuring one fighter who isn’t yet proven as an A-side (Mayweather) and another fighter who is popular in Mexico but not as popular as he ought to be (Marquez). If this fight isn’t selling, can everyone who admires Mayweather for his money-making and “business” skills as opposed to his actual in-ring performances and opponent choices please, please, go to the emergency room and have themselves de-superglued from his jock? Especially since Mayweather chose his opponent so poorly if what he wanted was a 60-40 share against Manny Pacquiao down the line; Mayweather overruled advisor Al Haymon when he wanted to be on pay-per-view instead of regular HBO, and now he’s dug himself quite a hole. Mayweather being a good “businessman” is a myth, because you can only get away so long with getting paid highly for taking few risks, and that chicken has, it seems, come to roost. Suspicion #2 is that Mayweather just wants to go straight to Pacquiao. As with both these suspicions, neither is very credible if Marquez has any recourse for insisting that the fight be postponed only, rather than canceled. It seems like this has to be settled one way or the other, because you can’t guarantee a ton more tickets sold if the fight is moved to September around Mexican Independence Day, as is being discussed, which means Mayweather would still be screwed.
- Cotto-Pacquiao. You can’t guarantee its authenticity, but Michael Marley reports that Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum said he’d spoken to Pacquiao at ringside and Pacquiao told him to make a fight with Cotto in November, reasoning that his rabid Puerto Rican fan base would make for, presumably, big money and a good show. In that sense, Cotto’s win is very big indeed. I don’t know how long it takes a cut like that to heal, but there are reports today that Cotto’s gash required 28 stitches (including “seven on the inside” — whatever that means, beyond “gross”). One has to assume Mayweather would be ready by then physically, too, but again, it’s not clear whether he’ll be able to beg out of the Marquez fight. What’s interesting to me is that, if Marley’s report is accurate, Pacquiao had turned his attention to Cotto even before news of Mayweather’s injury came to light. I wonder if that adjusts the equation any. P.S. Just because I think Pacquiao would beat Cotto doesn’t mean he shouldn’t take the fight. What makes a fighter’s opponent choice justifiable is not whether he’s the favorite, but whether he’s fighting the best. Cotto is now arguably the best welterweight in the world. I’ve never begrudged Mayweather for fighting people he was expected to beat, because I expected him to beat everyone, just as I do Pacquiao now. Pacquiao-Cotto is a good, exciting defensible fight, even if it somehow ends up a Pacquiao blowout.
- Guerrero-Hinojosa. I haven’t had an occasion to do much more with Friday Night Fights than Tweet, but I must say I wasn’t anywhere near as impressed with Guerrero’s performance there as was the ESPN broadcast team. Yes, he fought through a cut this time, which is always better than not, but Guerrero never encountered anything like trouble from Hinojosa, so the cut was about half-academic. I will say by way of caveat that Hinojosa strikes me as a tough sumbitch, maybe too tough for his own good, and the fight was unexpectedly at 135 pounds, one division north of junior lightweight where Guerrero calls home. Still, if Guerrero is to be a star, he needs to be able to knock out a guy like Hinojosa that he hits that much and that often and that had been knocked out two fights ago by a fighter who has NO wins of note on his record, rather than getting bailed out in the “KO” category by his opponent’s arm injury. What it boils down to is this: I had thought, based on flashes I’ve seen from Guerrero, that he was on his way to becoming a minor star of kinds, someone with pound-for-pound potential. I don’t see that anymore. I see him being a pretty damn good fighter, but one who’s missing the qualities that could make him much more than the kind of fighter who shows flashes of being elite. If I’m being too hard on him, so be it. My view, though, is that if he has a career where he has a ton of fans in San Jose, his home, and is a pretty good fighter, he’ll have a career worth being proud of. I just think his ceiling looks shorter than I previously did, is all.
- Calderon-Mayol. Seriously, I wish I could see this fight somewhere. My question is this: Did Mayol prove a greater challenger than some expected, or is Calderon on a distinctive downward turn in his career? Because most accounts are that the fight was close, and that the decision to end the fight after a cut on Calderon’s head in a draw was the right one. Obviously, a rematch makes sense, even though it gets in the way of a fight a lot of people want to see at junior flyweight, Calderon-Brian Viloria. With this being the second consecutive fight a Calderon fight ended with a cut in nearly the same place, one has to wonder how long he’ll be out of the ring this time, since he’d been out around 10 months from the last cut. If Calderon is on that distinctive downturn, Mayol’s chances get that much better of winning the rematch. [UPDATED: I also had it a draw. I gave Mayol the 1st, 3rd and 6th. None of the rounds — not a single one — was easy to score. Mayol’s length gave Calderon some trouble, and Calderon’s patented slick movement gave Mayol some trouble. Calderon wasn’t quite as sharp as I’d seen him before, and if anything he appeared to be coming on late, despite the way I scored the 6th round, so maybe he was working off some rust.]
- Assorted news. Clottey says he wants Paul Williams next. I’ve already weighed in on that — basically, good fight, hope Clottey’s loss doesn’t prevent it from happening… a great junior welterweight double-header is in the works for Aug. 1 on Showtime: A. Timothy Bradley would fight Nate Campbell in the main event. These two men match up very, very well — good boxers, tough as nails. Love it. B. Devon Alexander would fight Junior Witter on the undercard. Alexander’s one of my favorite prospects, and Witter still has something left… Odlanier Solis weighed in at 262.5 pounds for his fight on Telemundo over the weekend, a career high, albeit only by a few pounds — with his last career high being the fight just before. If you think he’s the future of heavyweight, I’d cautio
n you about whether this is a good trend.