TBA

Quick Jabs: Taking Measure Of Showtime; USA Boxing Vs. AIBA Silliness; More

Happy Halloween, ghouls and wights. That scary apparition above is actually old friend of the site Corey Erdman, wearing the best boxing-themed Halloween costume I've ever seen: He is dressed as "TBA," the dreaded opponent of well-connected boxers who have TV dates but no actual match-ups. Scaaaaaaary.

In this Halloween-ish edition of Quick Jabs, we have the topics in the headline, but also the politics of Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao and Freddie Roach; the latest "Ain't the alphabet gang swell?" news; some delayed Weekend Afterthoughts; and just a few other things.

Quick Jabs

Showtime's Stephen Espinoza said in a quality interview at BoxingScene that his network's boxing ratings are up under his leadership, and I'll take him at his word. He also defended the whole alliance with Golden Boy, making an innovative Law & Order comparison. I've had some criticisms about Espinoza's reign, but after a 50/50 start I think he's doing a mostly good job. That doesn't mean I fully endorse the Golden Boy alliance, or the alliance with adviser Al Haymon, because it's led to some sketchy match-ups. But relying on Golden Boy or Haymon isn't inherently bad if the product is good, he's right about that, and snagging Golden Boy star junior middleweight Saul Alvarez has surely helped the network produce some of the ratings Espinoza can boast about…

Junior welterweight Amir Khan this week partially blamed ex-trainer Freddie Roach's Parkinson's for their split, saying that the disease was affecting Roach's ability to give instructions or move around. That back half is plausible: One day, Roach's disease will slow him down, and Khan isn't alone in suggesting it already has. It's just that Khan was the wrong person to say it, since Roach correctly points out that Khan tried to keep him as a coach with the ultimatum that Roach would only train him. Khan, as is his habit, comes off looking bad in this one…

Manny Pacquiao looked rusty in sparring, according to his promoter Bob Arum, and while Roach might say that's the norm at this point for his welterweight superstar, the fact that Pacquiao didn't get to camp when Roach wanted him to is also the norm, and I really think Pacquiao needed a stellar camp for his December rematch with Juan Manuel Marquez, not just another "He got here late, he's rusty now but he'll get it together" kind of camp. My prediction of a Marquez upset is feeling better all the time…

The International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA) put a halt to all amateur boxing in the United States for a few minutes over the comments of ex-USA Boxing chief Hal Adonis, then changed its mind. I don't think anyone doubts that Adonis' remarks about boxing, child abuse and homosexuality deserved a punishment, and USA Boxing is screwy enough that the original electors of Adonis voted to retain him as a member of the board. But AIBA seemed to go too far because USA Boxing was already, by my reading, well into implementing the reform plan AIBA set forth after Adonis was retained by the board. And canceling a bunch of kids' boxing matches wasn't going to solve the problem, to begin with…

50 Cent is applying for a license to be a promoter in Nevada under the name "SMS Promotions" — "Sa Money Seam?" — while his old pal Floyd Mayweather is out running around wearing at TMT hat, which maybe is just him talking about The Money Team colloquially rather than an incorporated partnership that seemed to have fallen by the wayside. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN??????…

Everyone, stop assuming that Oscar De La Hoya's random late night tweets about a comeback mean he wants to make a comeback, because he usually denies it the next day. And besides, it just encourages him. Nobody wants him to return. The more people talk about him returning, the more he'll probably get the itch…

Hey, aren't belts good for boxers? One member of the alphabet gang is going to take away one of Daniel Geale's middleweight belts away because he's fighting Anthony Mundine in a bigger money fight and giving it to Gennady Golovkin, who'd been the next-in-line challenger to previous beltholder Felix Sturm for forever — years in fact. That belt sure has helped Geale for the month or so he's had it, huh? Also, one member of the belt gang is actually going to order super middleweight Andre Ward to face the winner of Mikkel Kessler-Brian Magee, because, pffftthhht bwahahaha that's the fight Ward wants and boxing fans need, psych. Also also, the WBC's Jose Sulaiman is saying that Pacquiao-Marquez IV is a "fight without importance" because no belt is at stake? He's right. I mean, nobody's going to watch that thing. Doesn't everyone know that people watch fights more often when a belt is at stake? Oh, wait, one of the other members of the alphabet gang ginned up some other trinket for them to fight for, so now I care again…

A few Weekend Afterthoughts: Thomas Dulorme is talking about moving down to junior welterweight, and considering how he reacted to the punches of a solid welter in Luis Carlos Abregu this past weekend, it's probably wise; he's flirted with weights between 140 and 147 so far, and I don't see any reason he can't make the junior welter limit. Cristian Mijares took out Rafael Marquez in a junior featherweight bout, and while there was some talk of Marquez retiring, he's blaming this or that for the loss and wants a rematch; I don't think if you're getting stopped by Mijares for any reason at all, you have much of a career left. Lightweight Miguel Vazquez is moving forward with a fight with Mercito Gesta on the Pacquiao-Marquez IV undercard, it looks like, so predictions that Vazquez wouldn't make it to HBO airwaves again after his action-free showing this weekend are sounding premature. And junior lightweight gatekeeper Gamaliel Diaz beat Takahiro Ao in one of the year's bigger upsets; good to see a guy like Diaz, who once upset Robert Guerrero, get back in the upset game.

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.

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