You remember those “grosser than gross” jokes from grade school, about chopped up babies and what not? I can’t say Manny Pacquiao-Antonio Margarito — set for November, according to Kevin Iole — amounts to something as disgusting as one dead baby in three trash cans, but when combined with the fact that it’s the fight that’s been made instead of Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather, it’s super-morally repugnant, and adds up to a week that counts among the worst for me personally as a boxing fan. Rather than the most important and anticipated fight of my generation, we get a fight pitting the best boxer in the world against a pariah, a man who is banned from fighting in the United States because the last time he fought here, he got busted with loaded gloves. Really, this is one of those moments when no angry rant can equal the amount of disappointment, rage and embarrassment I feel, so let’s forego it. Everyone’s sick of this whole saga anyway. My vomiting all over the computer screen would only make you more likely to vomit yourself. Congrats on your future eighth world title (at junior middleweight), Pacquiao, no matter how disgusting it will be for you to get there! At least it’s not on pay-per-view so I don’t have to give my personal money to Margarito! YAAAAAAY!
There’s more in the boxing world to discuss, so let’s set aside the fake joy and honest-to-God sick to my stomach feeling and talk about the other things. Yes, it’s a little like pushing through with drinking some alcohol after you toss your cookies, but sometimes that can be cathartic. And sometimes, you just NEED to do that.
It’s always a little disgusting to start drinking post-sick. So let’s stay on the ugliness involving Golden Boy Promotions and New York. TCS has a good breakdown of how they are spinning the situation at GBP — indeed, the suspension is over, but by appearances, they were in violation of the Ali Act. And they’re still not saying where some of the money went. (I wrote GBP’s PR person seeking an answer. You guessed it: I didn’t get one.) The most reprehensible part of it all is the constant attacks on George Kimball, and the threat to sue anyone who crosses them. But strangely enough, the fight in question — the junior welterweight bout between Victor Ortiz and Nate Campbell — reportedly did the third highest ratings of the year for HBO, which makes no sense to me…
And yet, when Top Rank is making Pacquiao-Margarito, they nearly look like angels, do the folk at GBP. And it’s a convincing argument, the GBP case made here about how they aren’t keeping things in-house like Top Rank. But let’s also not pretend that they aren’t doing it some. I like the July 31 pay-per-view card they have planned, but there are better opponents for the top of the card than those all-GBP match-ups….
Sticking with GBP, I can’t blame them for taking the chance to put on some NYC shows, no matter how much it ticks off rival promoter Lou DiBella — hard to see how Lou has anyone but himself to blame on that one. But I have almost no confidence that GBP will put on good shows in NYC. They’re spreading themselves thin with Solo Boxeo, Fight Night Club and all their HBO dates, then adding this in?…
Look, I can’t help but linger a little bit on the Pacquiao-Mayweather fallout. I won’t stay long. I agree with ESPN’s Dan Rafael that it would be great if HBO’s Ross Greenburg could simply say what happened about the negotiations. From Thomas Hauser’s account, the negotiations were heavier than the Mayweather side let on, and he also had a great tidbit about Mayweather manager Al Haymon trying to use the fight as leverage to secure more dates for his fighters — which is fantastic in the way I say “fantastic” when I’m so offended by something I simply have to laugh, since some people already think “HBO” stands for “Haymon Box Office.” P.S. Rafael said on Friday Night Fights that Pacquiao-Margarito wasn’t final yet, but all signs point to it being a go…
Either way you cut it, there was something hideous about the cruiserweight bout between Danny Green and Paul Briggs, since, as Alex put it here, either Briggs took a dive or he was totally unhealthy. My initial reaction was that he took a dive, and there’s still reason to suspect that given the heavy betting on a first round knockout, but this piece makes me think he was supremely unhealthy, as it’s pretty well-sourced — it doesn’t rely entirely on insiders…
Featherweight Bernabe Concepcion doesn’t work hard, says his team…
Hey, look, Al Gore’s son is boxing! BOXING! IS THERE ANYTHING FUCKING BETTER THAN BOXING RIGHT NOW?
Round And Round
Here’s a bit of actual good news — after years of not fighting the top contender in his division, lineal junior flyweight champion Ivan Calderon is taking on Giovanni Segura Aug. 28. It will be on pay-per-view, it looks like. Nothing not to like about this one. I suppose I could say “What took so long?”
HBO continues to push a rematch between Paul Williams and lineal middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, but Williams’ team says they only want it if they can get more than 50 percent of the purse. Remember when Williams was the most avoided man in boxing? Me too.
Lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko is done waiting for Alexander Povetkin to show up, so he’s moving on to a rematch with Samuel Peter Sept. 11. Clearly, there are divisions in Povetkin’s camp about whether he should have taken the fight. (I say no.) What I don’t get is why you would take it, then effectively bail. Anyway, Klitschko-Peter II isn’t a better bout, but it does have a little going for it in that the first bout was close, although Klitschko’s improvement vastly outpaces Peter’s since 2005. Fight’ll probably be on ESPN3.com.
With Pacquiao-Margarito apparently getting the go-ahead, Miguel Cotto-Andre Berto might be next at welterweight. I think that’s a really interesting and good fight.
Featherweight Juan Manuel Lopez might want Chris John later in the year, but John’s manager also manages Celestino Caballero, and is saying Lopez has to fight Caballero first. If people are going to come up with reasons not to make good fights happen, I suppose I’d prefer it to be “an even better fight has to happen before that one can.”
More Sept. 11 business: Middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. will match up with Pawel Wolak, a good scrap on paper, unless, as reported, Wolak’s people are ticked off about the money being offered.
(Round and Round sources: Ring, ESPN, BoxingScene)
Programming note: I’ll probably be taking a little break from regular blogging for a few days — my best pal of 20 years is in town, and it would be rude to be all bloggy around him.