Round And Round, Featuring What’s Next For The Bantamweights, The Cruiserweights And Others

Other fights in the works for Paul Williams, Amir Khan, Antonio DeMarco, etc., too:

Round And Round

Manny Pacquiao still wants to make a welterweight mega-fight with Floyd Mayweather in November, pinning his hopes on Mayweather’s flirtation with Don King, since Pacquaio promoter Bob Arum has indicated he’d be happier to work with King than Golden Boy Promotions. It ain’t happening, I promise you. I bring it up only to address a recent bit of Mayweather-Pacquiao comparison. Dan Rafael claimed last night that the crowd booed Mayweather at the fight in St. Louis and chanted “Pacquiao,” but other accounts suggest that was a smaller part of the audience than he let on. Also, Juan Manuel Marquez recently said that Pacquiao was faster than Mayweather. That makes it a clean sweep of people who have been in the ring with both, be it in an official bout or in sparring — Pacquiao’s faster. There were some dogmatic types last year who insisted Mayweather was faster and anyone who thought otherwise was stupid. I have a long memory about people insisting anyone who thinks something they don’t is stupid. Who’s stupid now, dogmatic types who probably don’t even remember saying that?

So Arum has gotten in the way of a six-man bantamweight tourney, which should come as no surprise to those who might have noticed Arum has gotten in the way of most everything these days (except, commendably, Mayweather-Pacquiao). He won’t put Nonito Donaire or Fernando Montiel in there because he wants to do an eight man single-elimination deal, leaving four bantams willing to get it on in what ends up being, effectively, a four-man single-elimination tournament. Yohnny Perez and Joseph Agbeko are slated for their rematch in November, it looks like. If you saw the first one, you want to see it again. I sure do. Then, in November or December, Vic Darchinyan and Abner Mares might get it on. That’s a can’t miss bout, too. Incidentally, Showtime COULD go ahead with a tournament that leaves out Donaire and Montiel, although Hozumi Hasegawa wouldn’t be a candidate since he wants a rematch with Montiel, but I would be opposed. The only flaw in the Super Six tournament is that it left out Lucian Bute, and even though Arum these days isn’t likely to put Donaire or Montiel or any of his fighters in with anyone from another promoter, I still wouldn’t want to foreclose the opportunity for two years of, say, Donaire-Mares.

Additionally, Showtime was looking at a tournament at cruiserweight, an idea that’s been floated in Germany, too. That Showtime is trying to make two more tournaments, after some have questioned the ratings or overall success of the Super Six, suggests that the network is stubborn or its critics are wrong. I think it’s a combination — it’s been successful enough that they think if they keep doing it, it’ll produce cumulative results. That’s just me speculating, though.

Ambi-weight Paul Williams is reportedly being offered $3 million by HBO for a rematch with middleweight champion Sergio Martinez, and somewhat less for a bout with junior middleweight Sergiy Dzinziruk. But his promoter insists he wants to fight at welterweight. A few things about this. Williams is my favorite boxer, but he’s gone from being willing to fight anyone to not being willing to fight much of anyone. If the argument is that the guy’s a true welterweight and we want to stay at 147, then I can dig it. But come up with a fight at 147 that HBO can get behind. Andre Berto, maybe. And if something like that can’t happen because Berto and Williams share a manager, take a fight off TV or on ESPN2 against whatever welterweight you can wrangle, just to prove critics wrong that Williams CAN fight at 147 and IS a welterweight. And if you want the big TV money but can’t get a fight at 147 , move one division north of 147 then come back to 147 when you can, rather than just sitting there.

After his junior middleweight Sergio Mora fight in September, Shane Mosley is already making plans. His idea is to fight Martinez, take his middleweight championship, then lure Pacquiao into a bout for his ninth belt in nine divisions. Interesting plan. As one wag quipped — can’t remember who — the bout would inevitably be at a catchweight of 154.5 pounds. Mosley also said that he still wanted to fight Berto, but Berto recently demanded a 50-50 split. If true, Berto is out of his damned mind.

Another person making plans after his next fight is light heavyweight Chad Dawson, who takes a bout next weekend against Jean Pascal. He said he’s targeting Bute, Tavoris Cloud and Joe Calzaghe. I’m all for the first two, but get this: The reason Dawson left Bernard Hopkins off his list is because he has given up trying to get Hopkins into the ring with him, because Hopkins clearly doesn’t want to fight him. Yet he’s still pursuing Calzaghe, who’s retired and didn’t want to fight Dawson when he was active?

Junior welterweight Amir Khan is still targeting Juan Manuel Marquez for December, but the backup plan is Victor Ortiz or Marcos Maidana. I’m not anti-Marquez-Khan, but I’m more interested in both backup plans. Michael Katsidis is due for a shot at one of Marquez’ lightweight title belts, but Golden Boy wants to put him in against Robert Guerrero. Katsidis ain’t having it, wanting either Marquez or, should Marquez drop his belt to fight Khan, a shot at John Murray for the vacant belt.

Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.-Pawel Wolak is back on for September. If Chavez wins it, the likely next step is a late-2010 fight with Miguel Cotto. Arum says he might put Cotto-Chavez together with Montiel-Donaire on one card. Suuuuuuuuure you will, Bob.

Featherweights Jhonny Gonzalez and Juan Carlos Burgos are scheduled to appear on the same card in September then meet each other in November in a title eliminator. I bet that would be a good one.

Somehow, Humberto Soto has yet another mandatory challenger to his lightweight belt, that being Antonio DeMarco, after Anthony Peterson had the slot before suddenly having to meet Brandon Rios in a “title eliminator” for no reason. Soto gets another pass in September before having to fight DeMarco, but I bet he finds a way to weasel out of this one, too. Give me DeMarco all day against Soto. Or Peterson. Or Rios.

(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene; Maxboxing; ESPN; Fightnews; FanHouse; Twitter; Philboxing)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ( He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.