french-boxing-kangaroo

Quick Jabs, TV-Heavy Edition: Amir Khan Vs. Zab Judah Ratings; The Overbooked HBO And Showtime Calendars; Floyd Mayweather And Victor Ortiz Face Off; More

Boxing kangaroos are kind of the unofficial mascot around here, so the saga of the kangaroo who beat up an old woman was at first demoralizing (the kangaroo beat up an old woman), then heartwarming (she was damn tough about it, and not hurt badly) and finally, tragic (the ‘roo was euthanized because it was insane).

There are no lessons to be learned. The only takeaway is nihilism.

But we must trudge forward. It’s Monday evening turned Tuesday, and I took most of the weekend off, so let’s catch up with some Quick Jabs. Also Tuesday, in the afternoon parts, we’ll drop an Open Thread. Then after that it’s a big column on the alphabet gang, since every writer in the world wrote about them this weekend, and we’ll finish off the week maybe with some Round and Round and The Week’s Boxing Schedule. Who knows? Maybe there will be some kind of redemptive boxing ‘roo story to (Floyd) trumpet. Oh wait.

Quick Jabs

Sorta some Weekend Afterthoughts, to start. Lamont Peterson’s title eliminator win might’ve set him up for a money fight with the junior welterweight’s cash cow, Amir Khan, or it might not’ve. In the short term, he reportedly made $10,000 fighting Victor Cayo, when he would’ve made $300,000 facing Khan straight up before turning it down over undesirable contract terms. But Khan is looking at a lot of other potential opponents for his next fight — the winner of Erik Morales-Jorge Barrios, the winner of Breidis Prescott-Paul McCloskey — and if Khan goes elsewhere, where is Peterson going to make up that $290,000 he lost? This’ll be a centerpiece of the ol’ alphabet gang column, so stay tuned for more on that. As for what’s next for a couple guys on that Friday Night Fights undercard, both light heavyweights Yordanis Despaigne and Edison Miranda are eager for a rematch after an inconclusive ending to their fight, although last I checked both junior middleweights Pawel Wolak and Delvin Rodriguez said they were eager for a rematch after their inconclusive FNF ending, and both of them are going opposite ways nowadays. Meanwhile, junior welterweight Mike Alvarado got a win over the weekend in Denver, with less than 4,000 people in attendance — enough for some people to call it a “good” crowd, which wouldn’t compare so great with a lot of other cards, so maybe it’s all relative. Other results? Click the link above…

Let’s talk ratings for a second. I had a whole spiel on Twitter the other day about ratings for the junior welterweight Khan-Zab Judah fight, and I very well might’ve confused households with viewers with how HBO does ratings versus how other outlets handle ratings; I’m still sorting it out. But HBO said the show garnered 1.4 million viewers, which is in line with the conclusion I drew about what the rating translated to, so I got that part right, I do believe. Anyway, to expound: Judah, as a B-side with a well-known “name,” probably helped get that rating, one of the bigger ratings on HBO in the past two and a half years. But it also put Khan in an elite club, alongside only Paul Williams, as someone with three headlining shows to his name that did more than 1 million viewers. Neither Williams nor Khan are ticketsellers; I find this interesting. It makes me think there are a lot of boxing fans who simply don’t watch shows live, and who, from their homes, find Williams and Khan more compelling than your average fan who does attend live shows….

Take middleweight champion Sergio Martinez. He’s been in two headlining shows that did more than 1 million viewers, and was on the undercard of a third. He has a fight coming up with Darren Barker on HBO in October that has divided the boxing crowd. One view is, Martinez’ strength of schedule has been that he deserves a lesser fight, and besides, based on who was available and willing at 160 and 154 pounds, Barker’s not much better or worse than anyone else. The other view is that it’s a mismatch with 26-1 odds that shouldn’t be an HBO headlining event. Even assuming the gambling odds are probably based a fair amount on U.S. crowds not knowing Barker, it’s true the fight is probably a mismatch. And I don’t think the fight will do particularly great ratings. But I do think that there’s a pretty sizable segment of HBO’s viewing public that likes Martinez and wants to see him, even if he doesn’t sell tickets in the United States. Yes, the “fights” matter. But so do the “fighters.” If Martinez-Barker doesn’t do decent ratings, then you can say his previous high ratings were a fluke, or the product of people wanting to see his opponent, or whatever. It doesn’t prove or disprove my case, by itself. It’s anecdotal support or it isn’t…

Meanwhile, a rare meaningful heavyweight fight featuring two Americans can’t get a date on television. That’s what Eddie Chambers told our old pal Mike Coppinger, anyhow, about his upcoming bout with Tony Thompson, due to happen in late August or early September. That’s too bad. I’m not saying HBO should buy up this show, and for reasons we’ll get into in a second, it probably couldn’t anyhow. It’d be a good FNF main event, to say the least, so maybe ESPN2 can figure out a way to do a “special edition” after its season wraps up this month. It’d be good for Epix, too, and, failing that, ESPN3. Somebody ought to buy up this show, though, because I want to see it and I know some other people who have said they want to as well. I’m sure it can be had at a reasonable price…

Seven months into 2011, apparently both HBO and Showtime are out of dates for the rest of the year. For HBO, such antics are fairly common. In might actually lead to a lawsuit from the team of junior middleweight Serhiy Dzinziruk, who’d been guaranteed a comeback date on the network for fighting Martinez. Two things: 1. Huh? Did HBO actually overpay Dzinziruk a reported $850,000 for that fight AND guarantee him a second appearance? I’m not opposed to guaranteed comeback dates, win or lose, entirely — the whole Super Six is a series of win-or-lose comeback dates, and I don’t regret a moment of that event — but they should be reserved for proven, popular, world class fighters, not unknown Ukranians who got massive paychecks to start. 2. How did HBO not remember it owed Dzinziruk a date when it was filling out its fall and winter schedule? It can’t have thought, “We got no dates for him, guess we’ll swallow a lawsuit or hope one isn’t filed.” Dzinziruk was all about making it big in the United States and now is staring at a fight back in Germany, so if HBO was praying they wouldn’t get any static, I don’t know what they were thinking. And this situation has hurt us over at Showtime, too. Featherweight Orlando Salido was already getting a little intransigent about a rematch with Juan Manuel Lopez, but now that do-over fight — the first time around, it was a great smash-up — is reportedly going to happen in 2012 at the earliest because of networks overbooking. How did Showtime, which aired the first bout, not make Salido-Lopez II a priority, if it was going to overbook something?…

HBO and Showtime are said to still be at war for the honor of airing Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez III (144 lbs). The BoxingScene timeline was a touch amusing: Michael Marley reported HBO had the inside track, then a couple stories later, Top Rank said Showtime was still in play. And the supposed Thursday decision didn’t come last week. Those prankster anonymous sources. They can get away with saying anything, and not have any accountability. On the subject of Marley, a man I like personally and who often reports well, his explanation for why he was soliciting fees from potential Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather bankrollers was not at all satisfying. Quite the opposite. The incestuous nature of boxing journalism and boxing business is at this point old hat, but this put a bit of a new twist on it…

Here’s the latest Faceoff video over at HBO for the Mayweather-Victor Ortiz welterweight fight. It is a real comedown from the past two, but it has its semi-amusing moments, many of them unintentional, like when Ortiz is doing that weird goofy California-by-way-of-Kansas surfer dude/tough guy routine.



Mr. Mayweather is off the hook for one of his two score court cases. Hurray!…

Old Ortiz nemesis Andre Berto is now working with Victor Conte, ex of the BALCO scandal. Let me see if I understand this, and admittedly I’m struggling to understand a lot of things in this edition of Quick Jabs: Is Berto, who recently accused Ortiz of being on steroids, really working with one of the greatest performance enhancing drug legends in sports history? And does Berto, who might be one of the two or three most hated men in boxing, really think that hanging out with Conte is going to make him more popular? Oh, Andre. You are the SILLIEST…

Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson, already the kind of fight that drew groans of un-anticipation from some, already inconveniently turned into a pay-per-view, now isn’t going to draw any fans, either. The two light heavies had to abandon plans to fight in Prudential Center when the events promoters discovered a different promoter, Main Events, had a deal with the facility where its banners air for any fights in the facility and other sorts of involvement. I can dig that Golden Boy and Gary Shaw wouldn’t be so high on that, but why move the fight to Los Angeles? With Hopkins from Philly and Dawson from Connecticut, surely some East Coast venue comparable to the Pru would be willing, no?…

Two trainer switches: 1. Super middleweight Edwin Rodriguez has gone to work with Ronnie Shields. For whatever reason, Rodriguez’ technique has stagnated and even regressed, so I get the need to switch things up from Peter Manfredo, Sr. And you could do worse than Shields, that’s for sure. 2. Blue chip junior welterweight prospect Jose Benavidez has gone back to Freddie Roach. Never should’ve left, really. You could do worse than Roach, that’s for sure…

I have no jokes, nor even any uplifting non-jokes, to make about this one-armed boxer who was rejected by the Transportation Security Administration to work as a screener. It would probably violate the terms of my day job, since I often write about homeland security. But if a joke about this is something you want, you can try this one from @robb_muckle on for size.

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

Quantcast