Round And Round, Featuring The Super Six Winner Vs. Lucian Bute, A Wacky Catchweight For Antonio Margarito Vs. Miguel Cotto II And More

That’s the outcome of the debate between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito over their rematch, visualized. As junior welterweights, they fight at 154 lbs. these days, both of them. But originally, Cotto reportedly wanted Margarito to fight at 150. Why? I never saw an explanation reported. It wasn’t like Cotto was moving up in weight, and was unsure about fighting in the junior middleweight division, and felt like the only way it was worth it was if he tested the waters with a catchweight. When that 150-pound request didn’t work, Cotto asked for 152. When that didn’t work, the last thing on the table was a next-day weigh-in that kept Margarito at 160 pounds, max. When that didn’t work, Cotto wrung out a concession of… one pound. One more of those little circles in the visual representation.

I’m not the kind of person who automatically despises catchweights. I know some people are that kind of person. But sometimes, catchweights are justifiable, in my view, or, at least, mostly inoffensive. This, not so much. It seemed Cotto truly wanted the fight and wasn’t trying to get out of signing a deal — elsewise, why settle on a compromise of a single pound? — but was trying to get any kind of advantage that he could from Margarito. I get it: Fighters want advantages when they can get them. It just doesn’t look great when that’s your only argument. It’s the kind of thing that does make me wonder whether, yeah, Cotto wanted the rematch because it’s got a nice paycheck attached, but doesn’t feel so hot about his chances of winning, given the psychological damage of the earlier Margarito beatdown.

It’s funny — Cotto and Shane Mosley, linked by a terrific action fight between the pair, spent the majority of their careers in good esteem with hardcore fans over their willingness to fight any opponent, on any terms. But Mosley’s skittishness in recent fights and remarks about those fights’ outcomes has done damage to that reputation of his. As a big fan of Cotto, I hope he doesn’t end up being linked to Mosley by this kind of decline in nerve.

So. That covers one of the topics in the headline. Want more? Try some fights in the works for Nonito Donaire, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., Adrien Broner, and many others.

Round And Round

If everything about the Super Six seemed to be steering the winner of the super middleweight tournament finale between Andre Ward and Carl Froch toward a showdown with Lucian Bute, who’s on contract with Showtime, it’s probably time to hit the heartbrakes. Both Ward and Froch and/or their teams are talking about fighting other people next, be it Bernard Hopkins or Anthony Dirrell or the like, and already discussing whether the fight should be in Bute’s native Canada. This could just be a negotiating strategy, a form of hard-to-get indicating that neither Ward nor Froch are going to chase Bute because they don’t need him. But Bute has been hard to suck out of Quebec, and doesn’t need to fight anyone all that tough himself, since he can make a lot of money up north fighting bums. I know my heart is already braked in advance just thinking about it.

It happened a while back, but hey, my hand was in a splint and I haven’t written all that much lately, but Nonito Donaire vs. Omar Narvaez has been approved by HBO. Top Rank’s Bob Arum said the Oct. 22 bantamweight fight will likely be held in New York City, owing to a feud with Golden Boy over using a venue with which Golden Boy has a strategic alliance. The good news is, Arum didn’t flip out and attack Golden Boy, so maybe he’s chalking it up to a routine feud between promoters, not an escalation of Cold War-style hostilities. As for Donaire-Narvaez: Narvaez is the best opponent on the list of people Top Rank was looking at, and while maybe someone like Anselmo Moreno would’ve been better, Narvaez is roughly on par with anyone Top Rank could’ve found outside of Moreno or Abner Mares — but neither of those men were available for various reasons.

Also relatively old news: Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.-Ron Hearns is off. The middleweight bout collapsed under a shroud of allegations about whether fattie Chavez had truly injured his hand by sticking it in a fan (I know, it doesn’t sound dubious, right?) or if instead the Mexico-based WBC had helped the famous-Mexican-name fattie cover up that he was a fattie who had failed to make mandatory weights in advance of the fight. What do I know. I just know the sanctioning organizations are GREAT for boxing!

Here are some junior middleweights I’m not going to talk about anymore until they sign a fight, because these fellows are constantly mouthing off in the press about who they want to beat up, and they often are talking about each other, and yet none of them have fought each other or even one of the other people they’ve talked about wanting to fight: Deandre Latimore; Pawel Wolak; Cornelius Bundrage; Ishe Smith; and Vanes Martirosyan. (Favorite targets of those men, some of whom trash talk back and some of whom don’t: Peter Quillin, Alfredo Angulo, Saul Alvarez. You dudes are on notice.)

Also in the world of meaningless sniping, at the welterweightish level: Kell Brook wants to fight Amir Khan, but not if he’s treated like a “bitch,” according to his promoter, and so does Jessie Vargas, a Floyd Mayweather-promoted fighter who insists Khan fighting him is the only way Khan can fight Mayweather. Nice try, lads.

Without explanation, the cruiserweight fight between Marco Huck and Krzysztof Wlodarczyk is off without explanation, and even though it was a good match-up, the cancellation is probably a good thing, given Wlod’s mental health issues. Look for a Huck-Denis Lebedev rematch, perhaps, on Oct. 22, which also is a good fight — no big drop-off, really.

Junior lightweight Ricky Burns had wanted a fight with Mzonke Fana before taking on Adrien Broner, but things have worked out so that Burns-Broner willl proceed directly to November. I like the fight. I do.

Junior flyweight Roman Gonzalez is definitely fighting Gilberto Keb Baas Oct. 1, a reasonable stay-busy fight, but the good news is that Ulises Solis sounds just as interested in fighting Gonzalez as vice versa. I’d like to see that by year’s end or early next. Also in Gonzalez news: Featherweight Jhonny will square off against Rogers Mtagwa Sept. 15. This is the kind of fight Jhonny is permanently in these days — names you’ve heard of, but nobody as good as you’d like to see him fight.

Newly-minted junior welterweight Michael Katsidis is considering a couple options for his next bout: Lovemore Ndou or a Kevin Mitchell sequel. Neither do much for me, but neither bothers me much either if Katsidis is just interested in biding time for an Erik Morales fight or something like that.

If featherweight Chris John is going to stay over in Indonesia for the rest of his days, he could do worse than Satoshi Hosono. It’s too bad that’s the path he’s on, though. If you’re in Indonesia on New Year’s Eve, it could happen then. That’s one of the two dates, along with Dec. 30.

Looking to bounce back from a dramatic loss in which he was highly competitive, Craig McEwan is fighting Kassim Ouma on the Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz pay-per-view undercard, but not as part of the televised bit. It’s the kind of fight I hope finds its way into a free Golden Boy stream or a free undercard on the pay-per-view channel building up to the actual PPV card.
Anthony Mundine is back to not fighting nobody, after a fight with middleweight Austin Trout fell apart. There was all this smack between the two, but, knowing Mundine like I do, I decided to ignore it and go ahead and blame him. JK. I don’t argument ad hominem. But I honestly don’t know who’s to blame; Mundine is usually the suspect. Daniel Geale, coming off a reportedly lackluster showing today, wants a Mundine rematch, too. Maybe the lackluster showing helped his chances.

Here are four heavyweight fights not happening, or not happening soon: Vitali Klitschko-David Tua in the fall, since Tua was in line to get the fight if he’d beaten Monte Barrett in the rematch but failed to do so; Tyson Fury-Martin Rogan, which went down in another comet of blame, leaving Fury to fight somebody else or the other next, maybe even a former NFL player named Leif Larsen; and Mariusz Wach-Albert Sosnowski, a match-up of earnest big men that Wach said fell apart for October because Sosnowski is fighting someone else; Seth Mitchell-Michael Mollo, which isn’t off entirely but thankfully has been pushed off HBO by the cancellation of last weekend’s card, and will instead happen on Sept. 16 and could be an ESPN “special event.” I can live with Mitchell-Mollo as a fight like that. It’s one of those “worthy development fight/not HBO-worthy fights” that’s floating around here and there these days.

Nathan Cleverly-Tony Bellew, the U.K. light heavyweight grudge match that was called off due to Bellew not making weight, is on now for Oct. 15. Not being a last minute replacement opponent this time, Bellew should conquer the scales. And that’s Round and Round!

(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene, ESPN, RingTV)

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.