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Round And Round, Featuring What’s Next For Andre Ward, Canelo Alvarez And Others

First it's a couch with a pretty lady on it…

…Then it's a couch that the pretty lady punches. If there's one thing that pretty ladies hate, it's couches. Grrrr. (via)

Of greater interest to the general boxing fan is less such match-ups — in couch vs. pretty lady, I take pretty lady by late TKO — are match-ups like Nonito Donaire vs. Jorge Arce, or Adrien Broner vs. Ricky Burns, and whether they will happen. That's what Round and Round is for.

Round And Round

Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce are going to take turns rejecting each other for the next decade, sounds like. After Arce had kind of skittered away from the junior featherweight fight for a while, Donaire is now saying he isn't interested because Arce is asking for too much money. I suppose the alternative is fighting no-names who request no money, like Guillermo Rigondeaux, but Donaire doesn't want to face no-names, either. For a while, I blamed others for Donaire's inability to get into the ring with top names, but increasingly it looks like it's all on his shoulders. Not that I care if Donaire-Arce never happens, because it's a one-sided fight where the only reason for making it is to give Donaire a "name" to fight and look good against because Arce is aggressive, unlike all of his recent opponents. Anyway, it's not clear if the fight could've happened in December like was under discussion because Donaire is recovering from yet another hand cut; Donaire said he's looking for a specialist to help that problem from recurring.

Up the same alley, I don't care if Andre Ward-Kelly Pavlik doesn't happen, but I understand it because Ward is a super middleweight looking for a name's scalp and Pavlik still has a name. And he's aggressive and will make Ward look as good as Ward CAN look. But it looks like Ward-Pavlik is coming. I don't get why Pavlik wants it — maybe it's the biggest money fight he can find, with HBO liking Ward so much? The fight would be in February.

Junior middleweight Canelo Alvarez's #1 preference for May is Sergio Martinez. I have my doubts that will happen; reportedly, there's some friction between Alvarez promoter Golden Boy and Martinez adviser Sampson Lewkowicz, over the dueling dates from last month when Alvarez's fight when head-to-head with Martinez's fight. No matter if it doesn't happen — it's a good fight, but there are other good fights for both men too, like Alvarez-Miguel Cotto and Martinez rematching middlleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.

A pair of rematches, one signed and one likely: Tomasz Adamek-Steve Cunningham II is a couple years too late for my tastes, but it still figures as a very good fight when it goes down because both men have faded in similar proportion and nothing has changed style-wise to make it any less exciting than the first meeting. It'll happen at heavyweight, rather than cruiserweight like the first time, and is booked for Dec. 22, so Merry Christmas, everyone. Also, light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson is going right after the fight I most wanted for him coming off his loss to Ward, a rematch with Jean Pascal, a very good fight the first time around that ended inconclusively on a head butt.

After some roulette for both men, Andre Berto and Robert Guerrero are now due to face one another Nov. 24. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. It's a solid fight of mid-tier welters, even if it still has a hint of odor from Berto's positive PED test and how it was papered over so quickly. Marcos Maidana wants the winner. Timothy Bradley was in the mix for a Guerrero fight but it fell through, and Bradley's kind of out of the loop altogether — Manny Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach said they turned away from the Bradley rematch because he sells no tickets. For those predicting that Top Rank could turn Bradley into a star, we're now more than a year into it and it isn't happening. Sometimes, it's not about the promoter. Sometimes, it's about the fighter. Maybe he can still be turned into a star later, but his style isn't that appealing and that will probably hamper him indefinitely. His general fussiness hasn't helped, either, despite his lopsided ratio of "pay" to "draw."

Down one division, there's a lot of action at 140. The apparent inevitability of Danny Garcia-Zab Judah means that Judah's ex-would-be dance partner Lamont Peterson is now looking at a fight with Kendall Holt, because that's who a sanctioning outfit wants him to meet. Peterson-Holt is another decent enough bout, if you can overlook Peterson's own PED wrist slap. Meanwhile, action hero Brandon Rios might be in line for Pacquiao next so the sanctioning outfit that ordered Rios to face Ruslan Provodnikov probably shouldn't get its hopes up. Provodnikov-Mike Alvarado is still the right fight there.

Apparently the promoters of Ricky Burns and Adrien Broner are on board to meet the two lightweights, assuming they both win their next fights. Good. That's a top-notch bout.

Carl Froch's mandatory order from his super middleweight belt's sanctioning outfit to face Adonis Stevenson could be a problem, because Froch is booked through the spring, first against Yusaf Mack and then with a contracted rematch with Lucian Bute. Stevenson said he'd take step-aside money, but if I were Froch I'd tell Stevenson and the alphabet gang member I've got better things to do. And that's nothing against Stevenson, a fighter I like and would enjoy seeing fight Froch.

Cornelius Bundrage, now with Golden Boy and now out of the Berto mix, wants Alfredo Angulo or James Kirkland, with Angulo a Golden Boy fighter and Kirkland a Golden Boy fighter in the midst of a lawsuit with Golden Boy. Those are more reasonable expectations than Floyd Mayweather, methinks, although he's also still talking about Alvarez and that ilk. Bundrage might have to face Gabriel Rosado early next year thanks to a sanctioning outfit's edict, and if it happens he might not make it out of that fight with a win.

Junior middleweight Keith Thurman is due back on HBO on the Berto-Guerrero undercard, against Carlos Quintana, a respectable enough development fight. Lightweights Richard Abril and Sharif Bogere also are set to face-off there. Not the world's best undercard, not the world's worst, either.

Glen Johnson has unretired for the privilege of getting beaten by super middleweight George Groves. It'll go down Dec. 15.

Mikey Garcia's featherweight opponent for Nov. 10 is set after Orlando Salido had to withdraw from the HBO show, and it's a decent replacement: Jonathan Barros. Still, it makes it a lot harder to compete with the Showtime card that night featuring a terrific junior featherweight bout between Abner Mares and Anselmo Moreno.

Vic Darchinyan is all about fighting anyone you put in front of him, so it's unsurprising that he'd be facing the relatively low-profile but decently-regarded Alexander Bakhtin Dec. 15, as is being discussed. If Darchinyan beat Bakhtin, he'd definitely deserve top-10 placement in the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board junior featherweight class, since some don't think him deserving of that status now.

(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene, ESPN, Ring, Maxboxing, BBC, news releases)

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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