Quick Jabs: A Monologue From Adrien Broner’s Brush; The Best Doubleheader Of The Year Set, With Nonito Donaire And Brandon Rios; More

Don’t think I ever encouraged you to check out my brother’s Punch Captain strip, the entirety of which you can check out here. Don’t you want to know what the Punch Captain does? What he’s about? You won’t be disappointed, if you are interested in punching.

Some bragging and administrative stuff before we get into this edition of Quick Jabs, which will return us to the pro game for the most part as a break from the Olympics.

  • You might’ve noticed that The New Yorker gave me a shout-out Thursday, the second such recent TQBR shoutout over there, with the first going to our Scott Kraus. It turns out I’m “a leading boxing blogger, and an unusually level-headed one.” Now, it’s going to seem like I’m just scratching the back of the person who scratched mine, and it’s true that without the TQBR mentions, I might not have even imagined that the intellectual engine that is The New Yorker had a sports blog. But it does, and all three of the boxing articles that I’ve read by Kelefa Sanneh are most excellent. If you haven’t bookmarked The Sporting Scene, do so now.
  • Our Mark Ortega updated his story this week about the California State Athletic Commission overturning a bad decision from May, with the wronged fighter’s camp crediting TQBR for helping get the problem on the CSAC’s agenda. Whether “lowly” or “level-headed,” it’s nice to see bloggers can have some positive sway, right?
  • In sadder news, the aforementioned Scott Kraus is departing us as a staffer. He is, honestly, leaving to “pursue other opportunities,” and this isn’t code for me firing him or him leaving in a huff. He just wants to do different things with his time. His witty, innovative, analytical mind will be missed around these parts.

Now, to the business of Quickly Jabbing. We’ve got the subjects in the headline, some Round and Round business about fights in the works, some boxing-on-TV news, and only the slightest dip into the Olympics, and only because it spills into a pro angle.

Quick Jabs

WealthTV hasn’t done much to distinguish itself with its entrance onto the televised boxing scene, but it’s about to become a bigger, better player, with a pair of announcements this week via news release. First, it’s airing the best fight of its young run when it broadcasts the heavyweight bout between Tomasz Adamek and Travis Walker next month. It’s a mild “in between” kind of bout for Adamek, but Walker brings excitement and can punch, and the fight should be fun and might be competitive. Next, it signed a deal with Canadian promoter GYM and British Promoter Hennessy for six cards each from them. As with all of these exclusive deals with promoters, quality can vary. But this speaks to WealthTV becoming a bigger boxing player, at mimimum…

This story raises some troubling questions about the World Series of Boxing and how it has impacted its contestants RE: whether they are listed as having professional records that could be damaging to their careers; apparently, they were told would not be treated as such. The story doesn’t mention any effort to contact the people the questions are raised about, but Gabriel Montoya mentioned later on Twitter that he’d reached out to them and got no answer, and the same happened to me when I contacted the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA). I also spoke to Anibal Miramontes, president of FightFax, who confirmed one aspect of what one of the fighters quoted, Javier Torres, claimed about unwittingly having a pro record. “We don’t question the commissions. They should go back to the commissions,” Miramontes said. “We report what the commissions report. They were clearly reported all as professional fights.” FWIW, the FightFax do have the initials “WSB” next to the fights in question, at the request (according to Miramontes) of representatives from the Association of Boxing Commissions. Small consolation, though. Also, just because I promised not to get too Olympic, I recommend this interview on how Olympic boxing scoring has changed this year, and will leave it at that…

I don’t care what 50 Cent says, or what Floyd Mayweather says, or what Bob Arum says — and all of them said things about this in the past week — but I don’t see any combinations of those three and Manny Pacquiao making Mayweather-Pacquiao likely next year or the year after that or the year after that. This lawsuit against Mayweather and Pacquiao makes just as much sense as embracing that likelihood…

Straw men are always getting their asses kicked in boxing. I don’t know if this is a response to what I wrote recently about HBO ratings or to someone else, but I don’t know a soul who thinks that ratings don’t matter on HBO. Mr. Kim seems to briefly acknowledge the question is whether they matter “(as much)” as at other networks, but then spends the whole article arguing with the nobody-is-advancing-it proposition that “ratings don’t matter.” I can only speak for myself here: 1. Boxing’s ratings do matter at HBO. 2. The given ratings in the story that inspired my analysis aren’t the only things HBO takes into account as a measurement of a successful broadcast, because of both its subscription model and #3. 3. Ratings are measured in different ways these days than they once were, so different ratings figures you see cited out there might not be the ratings that best represent the total viewership. 4. Nobody is saying that DVR and HBO GO matters as much for boxing as they do, say, for scripted drama. I suspect they don’t, but nobody has those figures. What if 10 percent of the people watching any given boxing card on HBO GO? What if it’s 5? 2? Then the ratings change, so the rating figures are necessarily incomplete, however much or little and therefore harder to judge. Other points, independent of the poor straw man: HBO claims that ratings were up in the past year, and by a good margin — and are similar this year to last, so unless somebody has evidence to the contrary, HBO was losing its foothold and is heading in the opposite direction; Arum’s fights are appearing much more on HBO so far, by my eye, and overall ratings haven’t changed as a result, at least not yet; and if Ken Hershman is an “amateur” at running a boxing program, then I’m not sure who an “expert” is…

It has to be seen to be believed, this one. It gets old after a couple minutes, maybe, but the pure insanity of junior lightweight Adrien Broner turning his brush into a kind of anthropomorphic hype man is almost enough to make me forgive him for missing weight prior to his last fight.

Round And Round

Nonito Donaire-Tishioki Nishioka/Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado is a go for Oct. 13 on HBO, and it’s the best doubleheader of the year, for sure. Donaire and Nishioka are arguably the two best men in the junior featherweight division. Rios and Alvarado are arguably the two most exciting men in the junior welterweight division. There’s nothing not to like. The tickets are pretty cheap, which is a good thing. It’s also probably a necessary thing — for as popular as they are with hardcore fans, neither Rios nor Donaire have proven big gate draws so far.

Also at junior featherweight, Guillermo Rigondeaux-Cristian Mijares could be a thing. It’s certainly better than Rigondeaux’s recent run.

Lamont Peterson gets to keep his junior welterweight alphabet belt despite testing positive for a banned substance, which doesn’t make sense to me, but I don’t care, ultimately what the sanctioning outfits do until it affects what fights I’ll get. I’ve fine with Peterson-Zab Judah, although I’d like to see Peterson be with a license for a year dating to his first admitted usage, at minimum, which would put Peterson-Judah on the late 2012 schedule.

Junior middleweight Austin Trout could be on the Showtime undercard of Devon Alexander-Randall Bailey (junior welterweight), against Roberto Garcia, whose only notable performance was losing badly to Antonio Margarito coming off a layoff, unless you count his recent defeat of a sliding Antwone Smith. This has nothing to do with Trout being advised by Al Haymon, I’m sure of it.

They’ve almost had deals and had deals fall apart plenty already, but super middleweights Carl Froch and Thomas Oosthuizen aren’t going to rumble in the fall, apparently. Too bad.

Alexander Povetkin-Hasim Rahman (heavyweight) has been rescheduled for September, after a postponement. I was afraid of that. God forbid they should have found an excuse to not have a crappy fight.

Roman Martinez-Miguel Beltran, Jr. at junior lightweight will accompany the Sept. 15 pay-per-view headliner between middleweights Sergio Martinez and Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. That’s a good one. Matthew Macklin-Joachim Alcine, also at middleweight, isn’t as good a one, but I don’t they’re trying to sell this card with its undercard, where the competing Showtime card has an edge.

(Round and Round sources: News releases; BoxingScene; ESPN; RingTV)

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. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.