Have you seen these Japanese art trucks? There aren’t any Japanese fighters in this edition of Round and Round, so there’s no real excuse to post that photo other than that it’s beyond cool. (h/t Kyle Starks)
Other non-Japanese fighters are mentioned in this edition, besides those in the headline, like Fernando Montiel, Kelly Pavlik, Amir Khan, Nathan Cleverly and a good number more. What are they doing? Learn.
Round And Round
Fernando Montiel-Nonito Donaire will never happen. It never will. The idea was to meet in February on HBO, but for some reason Montiel is petitioning one of the sanctioning organizations to move up from bantam to challenge junior featherweight titlist Wlfredo Vazquez, Jr. Vazquez himself might fight Jorge Arce. My hope is that Vazquez-Arce keeps Vazquez too tied up to fight Montiel early next year and that Montiel’s just laying the groundwork for a later bout, but since Montiel has never shown any remote interest in fighting Donaire, I’m not optimistic. In the meantime, Montiel might go ahead with that Alejandro Valdez rematch in 2010.
Promoter Lou DiBella says that promoter Bob Arum is lying about Andre Berto pricing himself out of a welterweight fight with Miguel Cotto, and that Berto is prepared to take significantly less of the pie for a Cotto bout. Given their respective track records of lying, I’m inclined to believe Berto on this. But instead of junior middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Cotto could be fighting Antonio Margarito next in a rematch, depending on how he comes out of his fight with Manny Pacquiao. If that happens, Arum wants to make Chavez-Yuri Foreman or such. I’m not interested in any fight involving Margarito, nor Cotto-Chavez; Cotto-Berto sounds better to me. And Chavez-Foreman doesn’t sound all bad.
These are both remote, but since they involve Pacquiao and the other biggest name in the sport, welterweight Floyd Mayweather, they must be mentioned prominently. The WBO or whatever welterweight belt Pacquiao has is thinking of putting together a tournament to become Pacquiao’s mandatory, with the top-ranked contenders being Saul Alvarez, Kell Brook, Mike Jones and Vitaliy Demyanenko. Let’s hope this takes a while or Pacquiao drops that belt by the time it’s sorted out. Nothing against that crew of fighters, but there are a ton more people I’d rather see Pacquiao fight. As for Mayweather, Junior welterweight Amir Khan is eager for a bout with him, maybe sometime next year. If not Pacquiao, that choice makes as much sense as any for Mayweather. Khan’s in his league speed-wise and his height poses an interesting potential challenge. If Khan beats Marcos Maidana in December then beats the winner of the Timothy Bradley-Devon Alexander bouts, he might well be a big enough star for Mayweather to want the fight, too.
Junior flyweight champion Giovanni Segura might defend his belt against Julio Cesar Miranda before going into an Ivan Calderon rematch next year. Then the question becomes whether he stays at 108 to fight the likes of Roman Gonzalez, who says he wants it, or moves up to flyweight. Segura said he’d love to take on fellow lineal champion Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in that division. Segura’s fast becoming one of my favorites. He wants to fight the best, and he wants to be recognized as a true champ, and oh yeah, his fights are great fun.
Heavyweight Alexander Povetkin had cost himself some credibility with the sanctioning organizations by passing up on a shot at Wladimir Klitschko, but one of them — the IBF? I honestly can’t be bothered to check — is putting him on track for Klitschko again. Eventually, I do want to see Klitschko-Povetkin, so this doesn’t bother me much. In the meantime. Klitschko is making backup plans in case his December opponent, Dereck Chisora, falls through because of his legal woes.
Sergiy Dzinziruk doesn’t have a mandatory challenger with Alfredo Angulo turning down the shot, and the next available contenders are Chavez and Paul Williams, neither of whom are likely to want to face Dzinziruk — Chavez because of the aforementioned fights, and Williams because he’ll have options if he beats Sergio Martinez, albeit likely not Pacquiao (who said he’s not interested) or Mayweather. More like, say, Matthew Macklin, a popular Brit who wants him some Williams. After that for Dzinziruk’s contenders is Vanes Martirosyan, and I know he’ll want some Sergiy, because he wants to fight everyone yesterday. Erislandy Lara keeps calling him out, too, so Martirosyan has options, it would seem. He’ll be fighting Nov. 13 on the untelevised undercard of Pacquiao-Margarito, then he’s free.
The winner of the featherweight bout between Juan Manuel Lopez and Rafael Marquez will apparently have to fight Daniel Ponce De Leon next or drop the belt. Lopez-De Leon II doesn’t interest me, even with De Leon looking good in his last fight, but Marquez-De Leon sounds interesting and new.
Middleweight Kelly Pavlik could soon be in line for a title shot against Dmitry Pirog, should he face and beat Gennady Martirosyan. This works for me. If Pavlik can get a couple rebound wins, and look good doing it, doesn’t Pavlik-Pirog sound like loads of action?
The winner of the Beibut Shumenov-Juergen Braehmer title unification bout will have to fight Nathan Cleverly next or lose one of the belts. There are some neat things happening at light heavyweight these days, and Cleverly and Shumenov are in the second tier of that neatness-generation. They’re both exciting fighters, and have some skill, if they’re not quite among the elite of the division. One of those top-tier men, Tavoris Cloud, has settled on Fulgencio Zuniga as his December stay-busy opponent. I’m in favor of Cloud staying busy, and maybe Zuniga is more a middleweight, but he’s not some complete pushover.
Fight Night Club in November will pit lightweights Carlos Molina and David Rodela against one another. That’d be about the most evenly-matched, quality bout of the show’s tenure; it could headline a lesser night on ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights.
Heavyweights Alexander Dimitrenko and Albert Sosnowski both would like to reestablish themselves as contenders, and so they’re on track to fight one another. Perfect fight for both men. Less perfect amongst the heavyweight ranks is the idea of Michael Sprott and Roy Jones, Jr. facing off. Jones is also looking at Evander Holyfield. Here’s what I know as of this blog entry: Montiel-Donaire is never going to happen; Jones and Holyfield are never going to stop fighting.
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene, ESPN, news releases)