Round And Round, Featuring Fights Not Happening For Erik Morales, Vanes Martirosyan, Adrien Broner And Others

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — It’s been a wild time on the Boardwalk thus far, waiting for the HBO fights this afternoon and tonight. We’ve encountered cowboy midgets; watched half-naked dancing cowgirls; spilled a beer on a lady; been offered the services of prostitutes, which were declined; broken stories (P.S., Lem Satterfield has a follow up about why Chad Dawson wants to stay home, and all indicators — per friend of the site pong and Facebook — are that John Scully is stepping in as Dawson’s trainer); witnessed a four-dick weigh-in; met in person a few people I’d only previously encountered via the Internet; and more.

As if you don’t have enough to read lately, why not see what fights are in the works for the men in the headline, as well as Sergio Martinez, Andre Berto and a few others?

Round And Round

A proposed November Alfredo Angulo-Vanes Martirosyan/Erislandy Lara-James Kirkland junior middleweight doubleheader ain’t gonna go down like that. Golden Boy says that Martirosyan has turned down the fight, and Martirosyan has disappeared off of Twitter. That makes it appear very much as though Golden Boy’s claims are right. If so, it’s a very vagina move by Martirosyan, who has spent the last couple years calling out every fighter in the world, and has talked trash about Angulo specifically. At one point Serhiy Dzinziruk was going to be involved in there, too, although he reportedly turned down a Lara fight, a pretty bold thing for a fighter to do when his promoter is yelling about maybe suing HBO for not giving him the date he’s owed. Then, Lara volunteered to fight Angulo, but Angulo’s team reportedly declined. Now there’s talk of Angulo-Kirkland. That’d be a difficult fight to make, legally — they’d have to build the ring on the border, with Angulo agreeing not to step over one side of the ring and Kirkland agreeing not to step over the other — but it’s one we all wanted a year or two ago, before Angulo and Kirkland got their careers derailed, and I still want it.

Also not going down (and get used to this theme for a little bit): Erik Morales-Lucas Matthysse on the undercard of Mayweather-Ortiz next weekend. The junior welterweight fight was a huge part of the appeal of that undercard. But Matthysse is reportedly too sick right now to fight. Marcos Maidana was sought as a replacement, but he hasn’t exactly appeared eager to face Morales again at all, and he declined. There was talk of Anthony Crolla — discussed as one of the original Morales opponents for Morales, alongside Jorge Barrios before he had to withdraw — getting the Morales fight. Crolla’s already on the undercard; might as well make that happen, was my thinking. Instead, we’re now getting Pablo Cesar Cano, a Rudy Perez-trained, undefeated fighter who’s fought absolutely no one of note. And it’ll still be for a WBC belt, for some reason. Oh, wait, I know exactly the reason — the WBC’s primary interest, outside of making money, is to give belts to Mexicans, and Morales is going for the dubious “four titles in four weight classes” landmark that no Mexican has achieved prior.

Depending on what day it is and who he’s talking to, WBC boss Jose Sulaiman either thinks true middleweight champion Sergio Martinez will be ordered as the mandatory opponent for the owner of Sulaiman’s trinket, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.; or he thinks Martinez needs to face Marco Antonio Rubio for the privilege of fighting Chavez, who only got Martinez’ belt because the WBC screwed him over. Lie down with dogs, get up with flees and all that.

The appetizing Nov. 26 junior lightweight clash between Ricky Burns and Adrien Broner doesn’t look like it’s gonna happen. Just the other week, Burns was predicting confidently that he would beat Broner. Then, this past week, his promoter Frank Warren said Burns was having trouble making 130 lbs. and would be dropping his alphabet belt and move up to lightweight. Part of me thinks this is Warren realizing that putting Burns in with Broner would be a bridge too far. With the idea that Burns might not fight Broner, Golden Boy looked into booking Eloy Perez as a replacement, but Perez said he would only do it under X, Y and Z terms, as though Perez is in some kind of position to realistically make demands about not fighting in Broner’s hometown of Cincinnati.

The last entry in the theme of “not happening or unclear”: Welterweight Andre Berto has the list of people he wants to face, and HBO’s Kery Davis has the list of people he thinks Berto ought to face. Berto won’t get what he wants; neither might Davis. He’s talking Miguel Cotto, but Cotto’s busy through the year in a dangerous rematch against Antonio Margarito, fights at junior middleweight these days and Cotto-Berto negotiations didn’t go well in the past. He’s also talking about the winner of Mayweather-Ortiz. I could see him against the loser, perhaps, likely to be Ortiz. And Davis wants an Ortiz rematch for Berto, too. Meanwhile, Davis also talked up the idea of Maidana, or perhaps Timothy Bradley. Those are two junior welterweights that I wouldn’t heap scorn on Berto for fighting. But Maidana doesn’t want to move to welterweight, and Bradley is locked up in litigation indefinitely with his current promoters, trying to break free of them.

Heavyweight David Haye has made it official that he’s not retiring and will pursue a fight with Vitali Klitschko or a rematch with brother/champion Wlad. He was very mouthy, back like he used to be. I once found that entertaining. But after he laid such an egg against Wlad, it’s just plain obnoxious. Woof tickets, is what he’s selling.

But here’s an “is happening,” to finish. Lightweight prospect Pier Oliver Cote, who’s impressed me in the past, will meet Jorge Teron Nov. 5 on the undercard of the super middleweight fight between Lucian Bute and Glen Johnson. I like the fight. Teron shouldn’t have been tossed on the scrap heap for his loss against then-fellow-prospect Brandon Rios; beating Cote would get him back in the mix. And a Cote win over Teron would be a real gateway win to contender status.

(Round and Round sources: RingTV; BoxingScene; STV)

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.