Round And Round, Featuring Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. Vs. Saul Alvarez, Plus What’s Next For YURIORKIS GAMBOA! And Others

Cripes I want it to be 4:45 p.m. already, so we can finally know what happens when heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko fights David Haye. Since we’ve covered the heck out of it, there’s no point in going on and on about it this late in the game. We might as well take a look at some fights in the works. Round and Round, while we wait, with names like those in the headline in the mix but also Bernard Hopkins, Nonito Donaire, Erik Morales and more:

Round And Round

Recently, Top Rank’s Bob Arum has said he’ll put his mega-popular Mexican fighter Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. against Golden Boy’s mega-popular Mexican fighter Saul Alvarez immediately. When I linked to the claim on Twitter, I was greeted with a lot of skepticism about whether Arum — yesterday lying/today truth guy — meant it. Which is fair. All I know is, I like what he’s saying. I wonder if it isn’t true. He has to know that he overcooked YURIORKIS GAMBOA!-Juan Manuel Lopez, another fight that would do major business, after Lopez lost. Chavez himself dissed Alvarez as a legit opponent by questioning who Alvarez had fought, which is a laugh and a half. Anyway, both sides say they wanna do it, although Golden Boy’s Oscar De La Hoya mentioned doing it at 154, which is implausible for the very large Chavez, who is a middleweight and weighed in at about 180 in his last fight. So, do it at a catchweight. Do it. Seriously. Do it. If it doesn’t happen, Chavez is likely to move ahead against either Peter Manfredo, Jr. or Brian Vera, both good fights. Alvarez is looking at Ricardo Mayorga, Alfonso Gomez or the winner of Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara, all good fights with the final of the three very risky.

Light heavyweight champion Bernard Hopkins is now all but set to fight Chad Dawson on Oct. 15 in Newark, N.J. on HBO pay-per-view. This sounds like a money-loser. I like the fight, but I’m in the minority. The reported reason, according to Dawson promoter Gary Shaw, is that HBO is already out of money for the fourth quarter of 2011 and can’t afford to put it on regular HBO. And it’s July. Does this mean we won’t be hearing about any fights announced for that part of the year after now? HBO’s issues with handling its money are well-known, but I can’t help but be slightly skeptical about this — how could any budget be managed THAT poorly? If HBO is truly already out of money for fights in October, November and December, then it would count as about as bad a job as the network has ever done with its boxing budget, and that’s saying something. Making matters worse, the undercard is likely to suck, since HBO would be paying for it, so the idea of a junior welterweight fight between Kendall Holt and Lucas Matthysse — which would be a better scrap than the main event, if not as significant — is unlikely.

YURIORKIS GAMBOA! has had the domestic violence charges against him dropped, and plans are afoot about his next fight. It’ll likely be Sept. 10 on HBO, and the opponents who have been discussed are Jhonny Gonazlez — who’s already unlikely, since he’s fighting next weekend on the undercard of Williams-Lara — and Daniel Ponce De Leon. Both of those are good, dangerous opponents for Gamboa, since they both can punch, and both have gotten their careers back on track after some damaging losses a while back. GAMBOA! You’ll notice a few of these fights I’m talking about here (Alvarez-Chavez, Alvarez-Gomez, Gamboa-De Leon) are Top Rank/Golden Boy fights, which signals the possibility of a talked-about thaw in relations actually taking hold.

Top Rank is talking about the folowing opponents for bantamweight Nonito Donaire if/when he returns to the fold after trying to defect to Golden Boy: Anselmo Moreno (who himself is talking about other fights, so, maybe not); Guillermo Rigondeaux (intriguing) and Jorge Arce (a money-maker, but a one-sided fight). The second two are junior featherweights. I wish Top Rank was talking about Donaire against the winner of Showtime’s bantamweight tournament, Abner Mares or Joseph Agbeko.

I’ve been in the camp that junior welterweight Timothy Bradley most likely made a bad mistake turning down an Amir Khan fight, and the evidence keeps piling up. He’s now in danger of losing his alphabet strap. Which, I could give a damn less about the strap, but he probably cares. Erik Morales could be fighting for Bradley’s belt if it’s vacated, against little-known Ajose Olusegun, and it would most likely happen on the Sept. 17 undercard of Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz. Alvarez could be on that card, too, to help make it super huge for the card near Mexican Independence Day.

It’s on again, it’s off again, it’s on again, it’s off again. It’s a strobe light fight! The junior welterweight bout between Lamont Peterson and Victor Cayo is now on again, this time for July 29 on ESPN2. Incidentally, if you can’t dance at all, make sure you go to a place where they have strobe lights. Strobe lights hide that you can’t dance. It just looks like you’re posing, so if you move out of rhythm, nobody notices. They don’t see the actual movements.

(Round And Round sources: ESPN; BoxingScene; Fightnews; news releases)

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.