Now, on to fights in the works that do not involve drunken octopi, but, rather, professional boxers. (And since I rarely post them this close together, don’t forget to check out Quick Jabs, just below this entry.)
Round And Round
Pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao will be presented by Top Rank boss Bob Arum with options for his next opponent on May 7 today, if he hasn’t already been. The finalists are Shane Mosley (the likely choice and the one not much of any hardcore fans/writers want), Andre Berto (whom Arum said made the most reasonable offer and is the “better than Mosley, anyway” choice) and Juan Manuel Marquez (the one most fans want). I thought it was really nice how a journalist got around this week to quoting Golden Boy Promotions about Arum’s claim that Marquez had made crazed, unwarranted demands. Wouldn’t you know it, Golden Boy said that they would negotiate a better offer if that one wasn’t acceptable. It only took eight days for someone to get Golden Boy on the record with that from the day Arum said Marquez made crazed, unwarranted demands. Anyway, it’s all kind of irrelevant. It’s going to be Mosley. If it isn’t, I will practically jump for joy. We might not find out today, be forewarned — might not be until Arum returns from the Philippines.
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez got one March opponent, Sebastian Zbik, rejected by HBO, but another, Andy Lee, is considered more likely to win approval. I can’t say I get this. Sure, Lee is Irish and maybe he’ll be able to draw a crowd if the fight is in, say, New York. From a pure boxing perspective, Zbik is more deserving. Neither of those opponents are all that great, but it’s not like Martinez has many options, and I think it’s fair to say that most boxing fans would like to see Martinez again as soon as possible coming off a tremendous 2010 campaign, regardless of the person in the other corner. I’d prefer they not bust the budget for a fight like that, though.
Among the options for junior middleweight Miguel Cotto for March that weren’t mentioned in this space last week: Vanes Martirosyan and Cornelius Bundrage. Both of those would be better than Pawel Wolak or whatever. I’d even say they’re pretty good fights.
If junior flyweight Ivan Calderon can’t get a rematch with champion Giovanni Segura, he says he wants the winner of Luis Lazarte and Archie Solis. If he can’t get the Segura rematch, I want the winner of Lazarte-Solis for him, too.
Victor Ortiz returned fire on the camp of Brandon Rios after holding his tongue for a while. Then Rios’ camp, via trainer Robert Garcia (who formerly trained Ortiz) went back at Ortiz. Ortiz offered to fight Rios at 140, which sounds like a good fight to me stylistically, and the grudge match element doesn’t hurt, either. I wonder whether the fight can be made, though, since there are some hard feelings between Top Rank and Golden Boy broadly and specifically over Ortiz leaving Top Rank for Golden Boy.
That Saul Alvarez fellow is debating between Matthew Hatton and Viacheslav Senchenko for his next opponent, presumably at welterweight. I like Hatton better, but only because I’m more familiar with his work. Either way, Alvarez reportedly wants to fight four times next year — good — and HBO has taken a shine to him. He’s also looking at moving to the United States and learning some English.
The other Solis, Jorge, was going to have a junior lightweight fight with Takashi Uchiyama in January, but it’s been delayed, reportedly because Solis has pneumonia. Pneumonia ain’t nothing to f wit.
Roman Gonzalez is another guy who would like to get his claws into Segura, but if he can’t, he might go get him some Omar Nino Romero. Even though Nino is coming off a stunning upset loss, Gonzalez is still new to the division and Nino is still a quality 108-pounder. It could be a fun scrap, too.
With their respective wins, junior bantamweights Cristian Mijares and Raul Martinez are now slated to meet for some kind of belt. What really matters is that with both of them revived a bit in their careers, it becomes a very interesting tale. Who can revive one step further, and who goes back to where they were?
I had no idea until I read an article on BoxingScene that Avtandil Khurtsidze was arguably the best fighter in the history of the country of Georgia. Anyway, he might fight Giovanni Lorenzo for some middleweight belt. I have acquired a soft spot for Lorenzo. He shoulders some blame for some of his close losses, but I can tell he has some talent. If he could figure out a way to maintain aggression for 12 rounds, I think he could become a factor at 160. I don’t at all have a problem with him getting another shot, given his respectable showing in some previous shots.
Middleweight Gennady Golovkin is now slated to fight Khurtsidze-questionable-conqueror Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for, you guessed it, some belt or the other. Golovkin has a lot of buzz right now. Here he is this week scoring a knockout.
Lightweight Antonio DeMarco will face Reyes Sanchez for some obligatory belt Feb. 26. Whatever moves DeMarco back toward the spotlight. I like that kid.
Marco Antonio Rubio is taking some stay-busy fight in January before his expected meeting with middleweight superprospect David Lemieux. If he’s lucky, he’ll get knocked out in that fight so he doesn’t get knocked out by Lemieux.
Heavyweight Derek Chisora wants Vitali Klitschko to replace brother Wladimir, who pulled out of a recent fight with Chisora. You don’t hear many fighters saying they want to fight BOTH Klitschkos these days — and sounding like they mean it — do you?
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene, ESPN, Fanhouse, Bad Left Hook)