Quick Jabs: The Eye-Thumbing Delay On Juan Manuel Lopez – Yuriorkis Gamboa; Big Court Trouble For Roger Mayweather, Jorge Barrios; Boxing Fashion, From High To IHOP; More

From time to time, it occurs to me that I never have any action shots on the blog. It’s always stuff like Hieronymous Bosch paintings or people dressed up as gorillas or the occasional boxer standing or sitting around. So in honor of that, I’ve chosen an action-oriented graphic that relates to one of the crazier things Roger Mayweather has ever said. Is there a family that lives in a more reality-free zone, and yet is still taken seriously by anyone?

Uncle Roger said on The Boxing Truth Radio this week of Manny Pacquiao:

That mother***** is on the A-side meth, that’s what the f*** he’s on… It’s called the A-side meth. He on that or he on something else. The A-side meth is what they used to have 500 years ago. Remember when the Philippines were fighting the US soldiers? They were shooting them motherf****s with 45s. And 45s were bouncing off their motherf****ng a**. They weren’t even dying!

My first reaction was, “What did he say?” Then, when someone transcribed it as “A-side meth,” I wanted to know what that was; apparently, nobody had ever mentioned it before in the history of mankind, because nothing came up on a Google search. After that I was impressed that a drug invented 500 years ago was sophisticated enough to escape mere urine testing. Then I was confused, because I didn’t realize the United States and the Philippines fought 500 years ago. I thought the United States came into existence more like 200 years ago. At any rate, I’m pretty sure the .45 wasn’t invented 500 years ago. It wasn’t even invented in time for the Philippine-American War, for that matter. And if there was a drug that someone could take to make bullets bounce off them, I’m guessing we might see that being used on the battlefield still today.

But then I found that action shot above, and I noticed that NO FILIPINOS WERE FALLING DOWN. (OK, well, there’s one dude who fell down, but it’s obvious he just tripped.) That’s right: Roger Mayweather was correct on this one, and the painting above is absolute, irrefutable proof of that.

On to the Quick Jabs.

Quick Jabs

If it seems like every few posts or so I’m savaging the Mayweather clan or promoter Bob Aurm, well, they’ve been giving us a lot of material. After wins this past weekend by his two featherweight stars, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez, Arum remarked that they wouldn’t be fighting each other anytime soon. “I know what people want and they can go [expletive] themselves,” Arum said (“with great exuberance,” according to Joseph Santoliquito). I think that should go down in infamy with Arum’s other line, “Yesterday I was lying. Today I’m telling the truth.” I’ll say it again: It is frightening to me that someone like Arum, who would tell his customers that they can go “[expletive] themselves,” would be so powerful in boxing. Some day, Arum will do something good again, and I’ll praise him for that. But these days, he is coming across as just about the worst person in the sport — the pettiest, most obstinant man with influence that we have. And, you know, I can live with waiting a little while longer on Lopez-Gamboa, especially if they’re matched the way Arum is talking about matching them (which we’ll get to in the “Round and Round” section below). But this joint-card event was sold to us as the doubleheader before the big fight, and I’m sure it was sold to HBO by Arum that way, too. I think it’s better to do the fight now than not. I understand Arum wanting to make more money for Lopez and Gamboa — and, frankly, himself — by creating yet more demand for the fight, but the risk is that one of them loses before then or else they’re both matched against patsies for another year and a half. Boxing had been giving us the fights we wanted when we wanted them the last couple years, but between junk like this and the Golden Boy-Top Rank feud coming back to life since the fallout of Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao, the sport is in full rollback mode…

Staying on the feud: Oscar De La Hoya (Golden Boy) recently criticized welterweight Antonio Margarito (Top Rank) and his team for trying to get licensed in Texas instead of going back to California to try and get his license reinstated after his loaded-gloves scandal in that state. I’m not saying De La Hoya’s motives were pure in attacking a rival company’s fighter, but this time, he was right, and some other promoters have criticized Arum et al for this, too. It’s as repulsive a thing as has been going on in boxing for the last year or so, this Margarito affair. I also don’t quibble with De La Hoya saying he wouldn’t be so opposed to Margarito getting his license back if Margarito acknowledges his wrongdoing and apologized, because that’s how our society works — contrition often leads to a lesser punishment. I don’t think it should in Margarito’s case, but De La Hoya’s attitude isn’t that much different than some people’s; hell, Kevin Iole bafflingly lets Margarito off the hook even without an apology, just ‘cuz he’s done his time, basically (actually, it’s more like a parole hearing situation). Arum responded to De La Hoya by seconding a call in an article by Thomas Hauser that De La Hoya should release all his urine-test records from his fighting days in Nevada, to show that he is clean of PEDs. Forget the hypocrisy of that all, given Arum’s defense of Pacquiao against the unfounded insinuations of Golden Boy about his PED usage — pointing out Arum hypocrisy is like shooting fish in a barrel — but I’m not even sure that was Hauser’s point. I think Hauser was making a somewhat satirical point about requiring people to prove their innocence. Either that or Hauser doesn’t understand Nevada procedure, because De La Hoya’s records on his urine tests are already publicly available and every one of them was negative, according to Keith Kizer (in BoxingScene link here, so click carefully) — and while I occasionally critique Hauser’s work, I’m never inclined to think he’s ignorant…

Not to steal David P. Greisman’s gig, but there were some notable developments this week on the cops beat in boxing. First was the wildly entertaining news that Roger Mayweather has 50 failure to appear “dings” on his record. But he finally showed up for a court date this week, pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman and has a trial date scheduled for June 1, which puts him well past the point of having to worry about not being in Little Floyd’s corner for a potential Shane Mosley fight in May. Far less humorous are the charges facing lightweight Jorge Barrios, who is in the midst of what may be the ugliest legal trouble I’ve heard of in boxing in a while. Reportedly — and, important to say, allegedly — Barrios was driving like a maniac before getting into an accident that killed a pregnant woman, and, making matters worse, he fled the scene. If the allegations are true, and I believe in letting courts settle these matters, what Barrios did is far worse than the fun he made at rival Edwin Valero’s expense when Valero was accused of assaulting his mother. The whole thing is just very unsettling. Lastly, the owner of Everlast is under investigation on charges of fraud and price fixing in the U.K…

Friend of the site Hamilton Nolan has a wonderful piece up over at Awl about race and boxing, using the Lopez/Gamboa show as a jumping-off point for his reflections. Nolan writes well about the action, too. I recommend the piece highly…

Boxing fashion, like Hansel, is so damn hot right now. Also, as fashion statements go, an IHOP shirt isn’t all that bad. Kudos to Juanma for sporting one before the fight Saturday; I’m sure he got some cash out of it, but it made him all the more likable to me…

In a recent attack on celebrity boxing, I failed to mention how dangerous it is. Rob Kardashian, whe ended up in the hospital after a celebrity boxing match, knows now. I’m all for boxing remaining a part of our pop culture, but not if it means people actually getting hurt…

I’ve got good news and bad news as it pertains to boxing broadcasts. You want the good first? OK, here it is: The Tomasz Adamek-Jason Estrada heavyweight bout will not only be televised on Comcast Sports Net in Chicago, but GoFightLive is picking it up on the Internets, too. I think $9.99 is worth the price of admission for an Adamek fight. P.S. I love Adamek but why does he always think he’s faster than everyone else? He’s not bad in that department, but Adamek wasn’t faster than Steve Cunningham, as he claimed he’d be, and I’d be surprised if he’s faster than Estrada, as he claims he is. The bad news? Sorry, but Miguel Cotto-Yuri Foreman at junior middleweight this summer may be on pay-per-view. I was hoping to get that one via HBO, but it’s unclear if it’ll work out that way…

That the sanctioning bodies have had any discussion at all about a super heavyweight division is as unsurprising as it is ridiculous. Erik Raskin’s takedown more than suffices. I’ve nothing to add…

Good to see Brian Viloria out of the hospital after the junior flyweight was having some health problems following his fight this past weekend. Viloria hasn’t made up his mind whether he wants to fight again. I don’t have a strong opinion either way, because what he got checked out for wasn’t career-ending stuff, but it wasn’t exactly encouraging, either. I’d originally questioned the stoppage a little, but after the fact, that Viloria needed to be hospitalized indicates it was a good one. Kudos to the ref. Here’s the 12th round, if you haven’t seen it:

Round And Round

Mayweather-Mosley, earlier in the week, was looking not so hot to happen in May. As the week got on, it looked hotter. Just sign the freaking fight.

Arum has talked about matching Gamboa with Celestino Caballero or Chris John, and Lopez against Caballero or the winner of Mario Santiago-Bernabe Concepcion. All of those are acceptable-to-excellent fights. I prefer Lopez-Gamboa now, but like I said, if what I have to live with in the meantime is Gamboa-John or Lopez-Caballero, well, hell, that’s great news. Do I expect it to work out that way? I don’t have a lot of faith in Arum on this point. Because he’s co-promoted by a German promoter, it looks like he’ll be heading overseas for some fight or the other March 27.

Everybody hop on the junior welterweight carousel. This week: Juan Manuel Marquez-Amir Khan is the talk for May 15. I don’t have a huge problem with this fight, but I have a lot of little ones: Marquez isn’t a 140-pounder, I kind of wish he’d hang up the gloves, Khan is obsessed with fighting over-the-hill Mexicans, etc. But if Marquez is going to fight on, and isn’t going to do it at lightweight where he’s champion, then Marquez-Khan makes some measure of sense for both men, pay-wise and competition-wise. More: Timothy Bradley could fight Marcos Maidana on Showtime, an excellent bout. Or Zab Judah could fight Maidana on HBO (Judah getting knocked out? Count me in!) or Judah could fight Victor Cayo (Why?) or Judah could fight Carlos Quintana at welterweight (OK, I guess).

There was talk of Paul Williams returning in April, but now it sounds more like May 8, and Kermit Cintron at junior middleweight appears to be the front-runner. That’s a good but not great fight, and I like the idea of Williams fighting sooner so he can stay busy, but I can live with this absent a Kelly Pavlik fight or Sergio Martinez rematch. There was chitter-chatter of an April 10 double-header for Williams-Cintron and Andre Berto-Paulie Malignaggi — presumably at welterweight — and I just don’t have much interest in that bout. Malignaggi’s a junior welterweight, and Berto’s a strong welter.

On April 17, super middleweight Lucian Bute’s opponent is looking more and more like Edison Miranda. Decent, not good. That makes me all the more likely to watch Showtime that night rather than HBO, which gets a lot of dick points for repeatedly counterprogramming the Super Six tournament.

Junior bantamweight Vic Darchinyan’s likely opponent for March 6 is Rodrigo Guerrero. I hadn’t heard of him, and he’s only 13-1-1, but he’s got a couple nice wins on his record, so this one’s decent-to-good.

I once was all about the Giovanni Segura-Cesar Cancila rubber match at junior flyweight, but Cancila was recently knocked out, so I’m only midly interested in watching them fight again on Feb. 20. Rodel Mayol-Omar Nino on Feb. 27 at junior flyweight for Mayol’s belt is looking likely. Nice fight. Ulises Solis and Burt Batawang are in a junior flyweight title eliminator that’s headed for on March 6. Decent fight, still like the name “Batawang,” mainly.

Odlanier Solis-Carl Drumond at heavyweight March 20 on Fox Sports Net, despite some recent Drumond losses. Solis is still taking a step up in competition as a pro here, though, so I’m good with it and I’ll be glad to watch.

A Feb. 26 doubleheader would feature a featherweight bout between Ponce De Leon and Orlando Cruz, another decent fight, and Vivian Harris-Lucas Matthysse at junior welter, a “meh” fight.

Rocky Juarez and Jason Litzau at junior lightweight may end up on the April 3 on the Roy Jones-Bernard Hopkins II undercard April 3. If I were them, I’d do better than that. I’m not opposed to Juarez-Litzau, but I think Jones-Hopkins II could bomb on pay-per-view without a good undercard.

After turning down a junior welterweight title elimination bout, Tim Coleman recently called out… Steve Forbes. Huh?

(Round and Round sources: ESPN; BoxingScene; Maxboxing; Boxingtalk; Examiner)

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.