Quick Jabs: What Did Boxing Owe Edwin Valero?; What Did Nevada Owe Evander Holyfield And Roy Jones, Jr.?; What Does Law Enforcement Want With Floyd Mayweather’s Friend?; More

Moreso than in a long time, the news of this week was heavily focused on the fights of the weekend. I haven’t measured it statistically, but I do think the HBO card got more attention than the Showtime card. I don’t get it. Carl Froch-Mikkel Kessler is a more significant fight in a better division (super middleweight) than the likewise exciting but less important heavyweight bout between Chris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek. Fortunately, viewers won’t have to pick between the two bouts — Showtime’s event starts at 9 p.m. (it’s a re-airing, so friends in Europe, please refrain from commenting until then unless I create a dedicated results thread) and HBO’s starts at 11:15 p.m. ET.

We have a healthy number of new participants in TQBR Prediction Game 2.0. It’s the kind of weekend where you could get both fights right or neither, so don’t get discouraged.

Until then, there are a small number of Jabs that require Quick attention, like the question Jabs in the headline, the answer Jabs in a couple recent Ring magazine pieces and some somewhere inbetween Jabs in the potential comebacks of a couple big-name fighters.

Quick Jabs

We begin with legal troubles: According to the attorney for an associate of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. who’s been indicted for attempted murder, authorities are really interested in Mayweather’s role (per BoxingScene). The ramifications of this are huge. I shudder to think what people would say of boxing, what with the Edwin Valero case and last year’s deaths of former boxers, if it turned out that one of its two most prominent practictioners suddenly was on trial for telling someone to kill someone else, let alone found guilty…

I’m sure people are sick of hearing about Valero, but two writers recently made the case that boxing owed the deceased lightweight more than it gave him by way of help for his demons, George Kimball and Diego Morilla. Their hearts are in the right places, but I think they lacked in specifics. It owed him more, but what? And who should have provided? Kimball made the closest to tangible suggestions, implying that his brain bleed meant he shouldn’t have been fighting and that promoters should have washed their hands of him when he began wilding out. I’d made some suggestions in the comments section here about what, for instance, his promoter might have done, and it’s a business case as much as it is a moral one. And there are some things after-the-fact that are noteworthy: The WBC has spoken of helping Valero’s children with their education, while the WBA has spoken of helping them with their health care (both links via BoxingScene). I inherently dislike the sanctioning organizations’ line of business, but if they’re going to be in business, this is a good thing they’re talking about doing — let’s see if they follow through. New middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, moved by the Valero case, has said he will begin an anti-domestic violence campaign that he hopes will draw in the sanctioning bodies, perhaps creating a foundation. Another good idea — there ought to be some follow-through, here, too…

I write a lot about the bad journalism in boxing, but there’s often good, too, and Ring’s website recently offered two examples. Remember when everyone was pissing all over the Nevada State Athletic Commission for sanctioning fights involving rundown Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones, Jr.? Well, Bill Dettloff took the time to actually interview the NSAC about its procedures for allowing those fights to take place, and they went much further than merely a physical. I often disagree with Dettloff on boxing safety issues, and it’s clear his libertarian views on these matters motiviated him to call the NSAC, but not only do I commend him picking up his phone, but I’m persuaded by what he reported (although admittedly I was less uneasy than some by the Holyfield/Jones fights). Second, Thomas Hauser has a good piece questioning whether the WBC has another motive in mind when it collects hand wraps after fights, besides safety. Like money. The question isn’t answered definitively, but it certainly sounds suspect and I’m glad Hauser investigated…

Manny Pacquiao’s wife is turning into an asset on the campaign trail, according to this report. Go Jinkee. More interestingly in the piece, Pacquiao’s team thinks he’s ahead in the race, citing polls. If true, that’s something no one expected. But then, we’ve learned not to count Pacquiao out no matter how unfavorable the odds, right?…

That Vitali Klitschko-Albert Sosnowski heavyweight fight will land on televised pay-per-view via Integrated Sports. I can’t imagine who’d buy that mismatch; you’d have to be a pretty diehard Klitschko fan, or a Pole with a real convincing prayer into God. Dan Rafael notes in that news that webcasting Wladimir Klitschko’s fight didn’t do good business, which is unsurprising, but he said there were technical difficulties. I didn’t see those. Anyone else?…

Marco Antonio Barrera has switched to Top Rank, per the link just above. That should extend his career by a good 10 fights. They’ll keep putting him on Latin Fury cards against hopeless opponents for the rest of time…

Shane Mosley’s attorney Judd Berstein recently went off on the reports about Shane Mosley and EPO. Even with only partial quotes excerpted, that’s no way to treat reporters, threatening to ruin them or implying that they’ve been paid off with sexual favors. Better that he had provided actual information to those reporters about how their reports were incorrect. I’m still confused about the situation, so, Judd, if you want to e-mail me sans threats, I’d be interested in any explanation about how the videos DON’T show Mosley fessing up to knowingly using EPO, and I’d happily run that e-mail in full (even though it sounds like getting to know the “Rambo lawyer” isn’t the most fun)…

There’s been so much activity this month, I’ll be updating my pound-for-pound list next week. I’d said once every two months, but no. Too much activity. Too much.

Round And Round

Talks for Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye have begun, and they get serious next week, reportedly. Good.

Fomer super middleweight and light heavyweight champion Joe Calzaghe is reportedly exploring a comeback, even though he denies it, and the opponent might be Robin Reid in a rematch. I’d long doubted Calzaghe comeback rumors, since he’d seemed so content in retirement. But lately, he’d admitted he was struggling with life after boxing, and Golden Boy Promotions had been cozying up to him explicitly on the theory he might want to make a comeback. It now sounds like it might be moving toward reality.

Kostya Tszyu still hasn’t officially retired, but he hasn’t fought since 2005, and says he would make a comeback for the likes of Pacquiao or Mayweather. That’s screwy talk.

As expected, it looks like featherweight Celestino Caballero was a bit too impressive for his own good in his last fight, and now Top Rank may search for someone else to fight Yuriorkis Gamboa. A damn shame, that. Elio Rojas has called out Gamboa in a news release, and a promoter once told me about promoters arranging for one fighter to “call out” the other as a trial balloon to see if it generates demand for such a fight. Gamboa-Rojas isn’t a bad fight, but it’s no Gamboa-Caballero. Also in discussions — Caballero-Rojas.

Luis Collazo cannot be pleased. He reportedly wanted more than the available licensing fee for a rematch with Andre Berto. When he didn’t get that, he decided to go for a vacant welterweight belt against Selcuk Aydin, but that purse (much smaller) isn’t sufficient for him either, plus he’s having trouble making weight, so he’s moving up to 154. I’m sure multimillions await him there. Absolutely certain of it. This was another real good call by Collazo, who’s been out of action for a year and three months.

On May 7’s Solo Boxeo, junior welterweight prospect Danny Garcia will take on the always-tough Chris Fernandez. Sounds about right for Garcia after struggling in a recent fight.

David Tua is going on a hilarious world tour called “Tua De Force,” but I’m running out of optimism that he’ll ever fight anyone very serious. For June 26 in Brazil, the plan is to fight Monte Barrett, who’s been run over so much at this point he’s got to be feeling like Keith Moon’s chaffeur.

(Round and Round sourcing: ESPN; news releases; BoxingScene)

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.