The technical difficulties I mentioned — I can’t post pictures right now. So please enjoy the above video of a 12-foot-across crab molting. That move would be pretty handy for breaking free of a clinch in boxing, right? I got nothing.
Wait! I do have technical difficulties. And a list of boxers who have fights in the works, or at least in the rumor mill.
Round And Round
Shane Mosley sounds the busiest as of this week, but his options for Sept. 18 do appear to heading toward Sergio Mora. All of the fights but one would be above welterweight, with Mora having claimed he was too big to make junior middleweight, so we could be talking about Mosley moving up a good deal. I have next to no interest in Mosley-Mora, although I think it’s the least dangerous option on the table for Mosley to see what he has left. Sergio Martinez, the lineal middleweight champion, sounds like a bridge too far. Andre Berto is probably the most interesting option to me, because it feels like the most competitive bout, although I’m not convinced Paul Williams, who made the list of options according to one of Mosley’s handlers this week, would be uncompetitive.
As for Berto, there’s Mosley, and then there’s been talk about junior welter Timothy Bradley in a catchweight fight. Those are the best options, even if I wish Bradley would clean up the business at 140 before taking on a new division. I fear the top junior welters simply aren’t going to mix it up the way they should. Offensively, Berto’s promoter Lou DiBella tried to sell HBO on Berto-Alfonso Gomez, but HBO wasn’t interested. Good for HBO. That fight is as useless as a male anglerfish. DiBella also might try to make Berto-Mike Jones, which is somewhat compelling.
The winner of Juan Manuel Marquez-Juan Diaz II for Marquez’ lineal lightweight championship has a lot of suitors. Promoter Golden Boy keeps talking up Amir Khan for the winner, in December, but Michael Katsidis is due a mandatory title challenge for a Marquez belt. Then there’s Robert Guerrero who wants some. Depending on how Marquez (or Diaz) looks next month, I’d be definitely take any of those fights.
David Haye, fast becoming the most contemptible boxer in the sport, insists he’s not fighting Audley Harrison in November, and instead is pursuing fights with the Klitschko brothers. Except neither of the Klitschko brothers are saying that anymore, after lineal heavyweight champion Wladimir waited and waited for Haye to accept an offer and instead is moving on to negotiate a bout with mandatory alphabet title challenger Alexander Povetkin in September, and Vitali is negotiating a fight with Nicolay Valuev in October. Haye said he knows he needs to fight the Klitschkos, but he’s left them hanging at least three times.
Fernando Montiel and Eric Morel appear to be moving ahead with a July 17 fight on Fox Sports Net/Fox Sports en Espanol clash for one of Montiel’s bantamweight belts, except Rafael Concepcion apparently has some kind of claim to fighting for one of his other belts and Morel’s unhappy with the terms of the bout. Montiel-Morel is one of the most cursed fights going right now, but it looks like it’ll go ahead as of now.
The talk about featherweight Celestino Caballero moving up to junior lightweight to challenge Jorge Solis is getting a touch more serious, but with the way people bail on Caballero I wouldn’t count on it actually happening. That said, the higher he moves up in weight the easier it may be for him to get bouts, because his absurd height becomes less and less absurd.
Caballero is still on Yuriorkis Gamboa’s list of options, incredibly, after Gamboa’s team more or less punked out on a fight with Celestino Caballero. That said, he’s the last of three in Gamboa’s preferences, with Elio Rojas first, because he could fight sooner than Orlando Salido, who’s still recovering from a cut. Rojas, at last report, was in some kind of feud with promoter Don King, so I’m guessing we end up with Salido in the fall.
Exciting junior lightweight Roman Martinez will be defending his belt on Sept. 4 in Glasgow against Ricky Burns, his mandatory. Burns is a boxer-type with a loss to Alex Arthur early in his career, but I can’t honestly estimate his chances here. Martinez is a bit raw to say the least, but Burns hasn’t beat anyone terribly fearsome.
The middleweight division keeps getting thinner and the super middleweight division keeps getting thicker. Khoren Gevor is moving up to super middleweight to challenge Dimitri Sartison July 31. When even some of the “meh” fighters at 160 are leaving, the division could get downright ugly.
On Aug. 28 on ESPN2, Julio Diaz takes on his eighth consecutive “win or go home” bout, although this one is the hardest of them all — he’ll fight Juan Urango, knocked out in his last fight but every fight before it as a sturdy and hard-nosed as they come. That could be a nice scrap.
On Aug. 14, Ji Hoon Kim and Miguel Vazquez will fight for a vacant belt. It won’t be televised in the United States, though. As barren as July and August are for big fights, there are some little gems surfacing, and this is one of them.
The flyweight Kameda boys are due back July 25 against stay-busy opponents, with Koki going after Cecilio Santos and Daiki going after Rosendo Vegas. Koki says he’s eying junior bantamweight, with Nonito Donaire, Vic Darchinyan and Jorge Arce on his list, all of whom have fought people far superior to Kameda of late.
On the Mosley-whoever undercard, Golden Boy wants to make Saul Alvarez-Matthew Hatton at welterweight. It’s a good idea. I don’t think Mosley is going to draw the Mexican fans for the holiday even if Mora’s his opponent, and Alvarez has a track record there. Plus, Alvarez-Hatton figures as a nice scrap. And since the card may be a pay-per-view going up against a Showtime card pitting featherweights Juan Manuel Lopez and Mexican Rafael Marquez against one another, it’ll need to sell tickets — pay-per-view may get its ass kicked.
Another ESPN2 card would pit super middleweights Donovan George and Curtis Stevens against one another. That sounds like a bombs-away brawl.
Lightweight Antonio DeMarco, for whom I have an affection, will try to rebound from his game stoppage loss to Edwin Valero by taking on Daniel Attah July 17 on the Bradley-Luis Carlos Abregu undercard. It won’t be televised. Attah hasn’t been all that busy lately, with two knockout losses in two fights since 2007, both to prospects, so he conceivably builds DeMarco’s confidence from his first loss.
Lastly, in the “joke fight” portion of the column, Top Rank is talking about matching up Marco Antonio Barrera with lightweight titlist Humberto Soto. There’s so much wrong with this. One, Soto was supposed to defend his belt against mandatory Anthony Peterson first, and I don’t see Peterson — who’s been frustrated waiting for that fight — waiting, and in fact the current talk is for Peterson to fight Brandon Rios in an eliminator that was supposed to more or less give the winner Soto’s belt. Because Soto wants to move up to 140, you see. Two, Barrera’s latest “comeback” was revealed for the sham it was when he came in three pounds overweight for his bout tonight. Three, all Top Rank has done for YEARS is talk about Soto fighting this person or that, only for him not to do it. Four… I need to stop wasting time on talking about this bout. Whatever, if some suckers want to see it and Top Rank truly wants make it happen, they will.
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene, ESPN, AOL FanHouse)