Two weeks’ worth of fights in the works await below!
Round And Round
There’s some potential funny business afoot with the headliner of this weekend’s Top Rank pay-per-view. First, Alfonso Gomez pulled out of his middleweight bout with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., citing an injury. In came Pawel Wolak, who might be a better opponent — unlike Gomez, he’s a legit junior middleweight at least. Then Chavez threatened to pull out, sick. Then came news that Chavez was in some kind of contractual feud with Fernando Beltran. The last thing I saw was that the fight would go on, but at 165 pounds, which is less appealing than a fight at 157, the original terms of the Gomez bout, keeping in mind that Wolak has fought at junior middle, too. Remember, Chavez has had trouble making weight before; it would be foolish to discount the possibility that this was all a ruse for a lazy Chavez struggling to lose the poundage.
Another fighter on that undercard, Nonito Donaire, is said to have a bantamweight bout finalized now with Fernando Montiel in February on HBO. Until the moment those two step between the ropes, I will have trouble believing it will ever happen.
Good news/bad news: Flyweight champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam could fight Edgar Sosa, but it might not be until the middle of next year.
Junior welterweights Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander still can’t agree on a location for their January fight. It was going to be St. Louis, but now it might be Detroit. Sometimes, it’s a wonder boxing makes any money at all, ever. There’s a stunning lack of competence, keeping in mind that one of the two promoters involved — Gary Shaw is the other — is Don King, a longtime institution in the sport.
Kermit Cintron isn’t a popular fighter, but he remains one of the best couple junior middleweights out there. That’s why I’m glad of talk that he’s in talks to fight Sergiy Dzinziruk, another of the most talented couple junior middleweights out there.
David Haye might have to fight the mandatory challenger for his heavyweight belt if he wants to keep it, that person being Ruslan Chagaev. We’ll forgo to usual “Haye is afraid to fight the Klitschkos” and just say here that I hope Haye-Chagaev comes off early in 2011, if it has to happen. Word is Chagaev was terrible in his last appearance, a close win over Travis Walker of all people, and has been unimpressive lately in general, so Chagaev probably doesn’t pose a credible threat the way he might’ve in theory.
This Tomasz Adamek-Roy Jones, Jr. saga has never really been resolved. Adamek has long wanted to fight Jones, and Jones has often flirted with returning to heavyweight, even though a chinny, dulled-reflex version of Jones is a horrible idea for the division. There’s a dispute in Adamek’s camp between his U.S. and Polish teams, with the U.S. team rooting for a Klitschko brother in the spring and the Polish team rooting for Jones. I have no interest in Adamek-Jones and neither should anyone else but the most diehard Adamek fan.
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez wants to fight three times on HBO in 2011, a good idea given his advanced age. But he still doesn’t have even opponent #1, and nobody really that appealing who could become opponent #1. I know I want to see him against Felix Sturm, Dmitry Pirog and some others, but that crew doesn’t seem to enthuse the Martinez camp. If Martinez is to fight three times, he might have to take on opponents who don’t present all that favorable a risk/reward ratio.
Exciting middleweight prospect David Lemieux was maybe going to fight Ishe Smith next weekend, but instead he’s fighting a tomato can. Smith wasn’t ready on short notice, he said. Could’ve been an interesting fight, so, too bad. But he’s lined up with one of the alphabet organizations to fight Marco Antonio Rubio, a good opponent progression for Lemieux. Lemieux has been moved very, very wisely, it suddenly strikes me.
Lightweight Jorge Linares says he wants Robert Guerrero, Juan Diaz or Juan Manuel Marquez. Since Marquez doesn’t want Guerrero, and since all these people are promoted by Golden Boy, I’d bet on that fight to happen, if any. But it would be Golden Boy throwing two of its youngsters in there together, so I wouldn’t bet on it too confidently.
Cruiserweight Guillermo Jones is interested in getting in on his division’s Super Six. Good. I don’t think he’s really a heavyweight, and he was talking about moving up to that division.
There are already talks about a rematch between welterweight prospect Mike Jones and Jesus Soto Karass, after their close, controversial bout this month. Good for both men. It was a decent scrap, and Jones is to be praised for wanting to rectify his poor performance in a win that some don’t believe he deserved.
Junior lightweight Ricky Burns and fellow Scot Paul Appelby could be heading for a showdown, which would be huge in Scotland, albeit not until sometime next year at the earliest. I’m interested in any and all Burns bouts, after his stirring battle with Rocky Martinez earlier this year.
Tons of other mandatory/alphabet/interim business out there. Lightning Round and Round! Super middleweights Dmitry Sartison and Brian Magee, middleweights Gennady Golovkin and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam and welterweights Vyacheslav Senchenko and Souleymane M’Baye must all face each other by January, according to the WBA. All of those are appropriate bouts for all men involved, all of whom have some version of some title or the other. Juan Carlos Reveco and Roman Gonzalez have until February with the WBA to face off at junior flyweight for Reveco’s belt, another appropriate bout. Tomas Rojas will defend his junior bantamweight strap against Nobuo Nashiro Feb. 5… another appropriate bout. And Takashi Uchiyama will meet Jorge Solis in January for Uchiyama’s junior lightweight belt… yet another appropriate bout.
(Sources: BoxingScene, ESPN, Maxboxing, news releases)