The headline is depressing in the front, but in the back it’s wild and free. This blog entry in toto is the emotional mullet of Round and Round columns, your spot for a weekly round-up of fights in the works because if you paid attention to this every day you’d go insane with all the “the fight’s on!” “the fight’s off!” business.
Round And Round
Mark my words, mofos: Nonito Donaire-Fernando Montiel will NEVER happen. I remember getting all excited for it when it was all but done at the beginning of 2009, because even then it was one of the most exciting match-ups in all of boxing. And when Donaire was making some noise — along with his manager — about Top Rank neglecting him, it looked like it might happen in November, because Top Rank suddenly started talking up the fight. Then, December. Now, Donaire’s tentatively slated to fight at bantamweight in December on the Miguel Cotto-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. undercard, and his opponent isn’t Montiel — it’s someone unnamed. Won’t. Happen. Donaire’s career under Top Rank is among the many, many reasons I am so much more critical of Top Rank than some of my colleagues amongst boxing writers. The dude is by far one of the brightest talents in the sport and amongst the most marketable, but he’s going to be 37 before he gets a significant fight.
Hey, but here’s some good news. Super middleweight Andre Dirrell on Twitter Saturday was saying that, no fears, his fight with Andre Ward will happen, it’s just postponed. Since the rumor (where did it come from, by the way?) was that Dirrell was unsure about fighting his buddy Ward, this counts as good news that he’s at least publicly saying the fight is still on, even if we’re not sure what the problem is right now.
Ah, but because Justin Bieber is going somewhere else — no, this is not a joke — Paul Williams-Sergio Martinez II for Martinez’ middleweight championship is heading toward more likely for Nov. 20 for Atlantic City. I will go to that fight in a SECOND. The first was a classic and I was honored to be there. As for Bieber, I recently listened to him for the first time just to make sure he wasn’t getting unfairly criticized, because hey, I always thought Hanson wasn’t as bad as everyone else did. Nope, Bieber’s terrible. Terrible times terrible to the power of awful.
Also, location-wise, the two upcoming highly-anticipated and just-might-happen junior welterweight showdowns are getting a bit inventive. The December fight between Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana might be heading to Detroit, which makes huge sense from the standpoint of the big Middle Eastern/American population and Khan’s Pakistan background. Even better, the January bout between Timothy Bradley and Devon Alexander might end up in New Orleans or Washington, D.C. That’s where I live, the second one! Holy God I would go to that one in a second, too!
There’s a fair amount of unclarity about whether a tripleheader featuring lightweights Juan Manuel Marquez and Michael Katsidis, welterweights Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin and featherweight Celestino Caballero fighting someone (either Ricardo Cordoba or Matthew Remillard) can come off. The reason: Berto. Look, I’ve defended Berto before, but I can’t anymore. The guy is out of his mind. You could say, “HBO created a monster” by overpaying him early, but he wanted an undeserved 50-50 split for a Shane Mosley fight, reportedly wanted the lion’s share of the money for a Miguel Cotto fight and now apparently wants more money than HBO will pay for an unappetizing Aydin fight. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Berto, your rocker is over there (<—-) and you ain’t on it. As for Marquez-Katsidis, OK, whatever, that’s a beautiful fight and I’d watch it alone. But I’d rather see Berto-Aydin and Caballero-Remillard, too. I love fights like the second, by the way, where the prospect just decides to make a ridiculously big step up, and if he loses, no big deal, but if he wins, hell yeah. Go for it, Remillard.
Remember when heavyweight David Haye said he would reveal why Wladimir Klitschko was the crazy one in the whole Haye-running-from-Klitschko situation? It turned out not to be so dramatic. It was some goofiness, like he wanted 50-50 on all revenue including German TV, or else he wanted all the British TV revenue. Haye is a joke like Floyd Mayweather and he’s as unfunny as Mayweather to boot. You don’t got no right to no German television money, dude. Just keep fighting Audley Harrison and getting disrespected all over the rest of the world. Oh, also, I read about this on BoxingScene, so you can find it there, or maybe some other places. I never do links to these Round and Round columns because there would be so many of them it would take an hour just to do the links and because it would be really distracting to see all those different-colored words. I had 26 links in my Quick Jabs column earlier, which was time-consuming and distracting enough.
There’s some talk of a junior middleweight clash between Sergiy Dzinziruk and Vanes Martirosyan on the Nov. 6 Showtime undercard for Juan Manuel Lopez and Rafael Marquez. Give me that please. We’re talking about two talented if sometimes boring 154-pounders, and I’m OK with the occasional boring match-up as long as there’s some real skill on display and it’s an intriguing bout, which describes Dzinziruk-Martirosyan just fine.
Between Donaire-Montiel not happening and the possibility of the Showtime bantamweight tourney being delayed a bit, it’s nice that Anselmo Moreno and Hozumi Hasegawa are talking about fighting each other. The bantamweight division could be so sexy if even a handful of these fights happen.
Also Nov. 6, HBO might stage a doubleheader lead off by Zab Judah and Lucas Matthysse at junior welterweight and Robert Guerrero against Miguel Vazquez or Vicente Escobedo. Those are all modestly interesting bouts. As I’m becoming a big Vazquez fan, I’d prefer him over Escobedo, not that I don’t like Escobedo, too.
The super middleweight brothers of Librado Andrade and Enrique Ornelas are lined up for title shots, with Andrade going at Juergen Braehmer. Ornelas going at Robert Stieglitz. I love those brothers, man. They always put on good fights, and they overachieve based on their talent levels with pure grit. Good luck to them if things are finalized. (Normally I’d look up the dates and stuff but I’m tired and I’ve had some drink. I’m doing my best.)
Left out in the cold in some ways, featherweight Jhonny Gonzalez is still going after good fights and next up is Jackson Asiku on Sept. 15, and it’ll have an interesting co-feature in junior lightweight Juan Carlos Salgado going against Tyrone Harris. For $25 on Integrated Sports, that might be worth a purchase.
There’s a nice show in England Sept. 18 that was fully loaded, but two bouts are off: middleweight Matthew Macklin against Darren Barker (Macklin’s getting a new opponent) and junior middleweight Ryan Rhodes against Lukas Konecny (Konecny is getting a new opponent). Still, pretty good card that night there in Jolly Ol’.
But sometimes there are ugly match-ups. Like Ray Oliveira, a lifelong junior welterweight and welterweight who retired in 2005 after a vicious beating, moving all the way up to 175 pounds to fight Joe Spina Oct. 2. That fight’s kinda disgusting. If the Connecticut regulators have any sense about them, they’ll send it away, but this is boxing, so you can’t count on sense.
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene; Fightnews; Maxboxing; ESPN; Twitter; news releases)