Weekend Afterthoughts On What’s Next For Klitschko, The John – Juarez II Postponement, Sosa’s Knockout And More

There’s junior flyweight Edgar Sosa knocking out an overmatched opponent this weekend in front of about 12,000 people in Mexico City. He’s popular there. Sure would be nice to see him in against a Giovanni Segura or somebody like that.

Not a whole lotta weekend afterthoughts, but some things worth discussing.

Next For Klitschko

Since Alexander Povetkin won’t be accepting any step-aside money, he is first in line for a shot at new heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Klitschko has a few title belts besides his newly-won Ring championship, and Povetkin is owed a mandatory shot at one of them by September. The Klitschkos like their jewelry, so I doubt Wlad will drop his trinket to make another bout. And it’s not as if Klitschko-Povetkin is a joke fight. Povetkin’s legit, if not a bit unproven, but then, there aren’t many people who are in Klitschko’s class, are there? (His name is “Vitali.”)

Thankfully, though Klitschko is no longer talking about freezing out David Haye, the way he was after Haye pulled out of the fight he was scheduled for this weekend, forcing Klitschko to turn his attention to Ruslan Chagaev on June 20. He — and perhaps more importantly, his HBO-connected handler Shelly Finkel, who no doubt is feeling a little unloved after HBO shunned Klitschko-Chagaev because it wasn’t as interesting as Klitschko-Haye — are talking about returning to Klitschko-Haye soon. In fact, as soon as September. Another option is Chris Arreola. Beating Arreola might help Klitschko get a little traction in the U.S., as MVN’s Luke Jamesway was just suggesting in the comments section of this blog over the weekend. Those are both interesting fights, with Haye enticing me just a little bit more, because both guys are heavy-handed sluggers who aren’t afraid to wing a few punches even if it means getting knocked out. Of course, Vitali is also talking about fighting both men, so I guess the brothers need to work it out. (With Setanta on the rocks, Haye presumably brings less television money to the table than he did, but HBO’s interest in Haye could help him get one man or the other sooner than later.)

I did get a kick out of Odlanier Solis saying in a press release over the weekend, “I will end Wladimir Klitschko.” I like Solis just fine, but, um, no. Klitschko would jab him fat ass to death and he would go to sleep.

John – Juarez Postponement

Earlier this year, I was rather worried about the spate of cancellations and postponements in boxing. Now, a sparse summer schedule is looking even worse after yet another big fight has been delayed.

First it was Klitschko-Haye. Then it was the welterweight Floyd Mayweather, Jr.-Juan Manuel Marquez bout on July 18 getting pushed back. (As an aside, Maxboxing had a report recently that Mayweather wasn’t getting paid as much as everyone thinks. Interesting. The stupidity of calling this guy “Money” Mayweather continues to grow, if that and other recent reports are to be believed.) Now, as of this weekend, the scheduled June 27 rematch between featherweights Chris John and Rocky Juarez is off due to John having some kind of blood problem. Juarez is looking for an opponent so he can stay on the HBO undercard of the junior welterweight main event between Victor Ortiz and Marcos Maidana. That fight wasn’t as high-profile as Klitschko-Haye or Mayweather-Marquez, but John-Juarez was nonetheless very significant and had the prospect of being the best of the three fights. Eric Raskin has a more thorough accounting of this summer’s bad luck.

There’s nothing much anybody can do about any of this, unless, of course, Haye’s Setanta pay issues or Mayweather’s pay issues were to blame for the first two instead of injury, in which case maybe it all could have been avoided. But it is a downer. Between now and Aug. 1, when Showtime airs the junior welterweight showdown between Timothy Bradley and Nate Campbell, there is a grand total of one fight that is of more-than-moderate significance, that being the July 11 bantamweight battle between Joseph Agbeko and Vic Darchinyan. And there are no super-fights like a Mayweather-Marquez or Klitschko-Haye until September, at the earliest, when Manny Pacquiao might do battle with welterweight Miguel Cotto.

To the friends of TQBR who were excited about watching John-Juarez II and Mayweather-Maarquez live and in person: You have my condolences. It’s probably a good deal more depressing to you than it is to me, and I’m nearly at Charlie Brown feet-shuffling levels about it. At least it looks like 2009 is going to close strong, because it sure started strong.

Other Tidbits

I think cruiserweight Troy Ross’ uninspiring performance on the Versus undercard Friday can be blamed more on his opponent than him, but you’ll notice I haven’t mentioned it until now, which should tell you all you need to know about whether you ought to try to catch it on replay if you haven’t seen it yet… Quick correction on that Montreal card, by the way. I’d said that 20,000 would be in attendance, which I’d based on a press report I’d seen. In actuality, the number was closer to 13,000… A little bit of an upset over the weekend when light heavyweight beltholder Hugo Garay lost to a late replacement. Everyone else who fought over the crowded weekend and was supposed to win did… It hasn’t gotten much play elsewhere, but Freddie Roach told this reporter and a few others that he’d let Michael Moorer go as an assistant. Reportedly, Pacquiao and others weren’t digging him. I’m not surprised. Moorer has always been a little thorny, to say the least. I was never convinced he had the mindset to be a trainer; maybe the brain, but not the mindset… Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan continue to circle one another in what would be quite the all-U.K. junior welterweight showdown. I’m intrigued… RingTalk.com, which has been waging something of a war of words against Kelly Pavlik’s team over its report that Pavlik had checked into rehab (Pavlik and friends deny this), has declined to post some video that RingTalk honcho Pedro Fernandez said he bought because it depicted Pavlik falling down drunk. What a classy news outlet they got over there.

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. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.