Round And Round, Featuring What’s Next For Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., James Kirkland And Others

When I watch the extended version of this Manny Pacquiao Hennessy commercial that’s all over the television, the message I get is, “Alcohol will make me fight better.” But not Pacquiao’s promoter Bob Arum. No, he sees a metaphor for the Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather, Jr. fight not happening until 2013:

“Manny can chase the wild rabbit in the television commercial [for Hennessy], but as a promoter I can’t chase a wild rabbit,” Arum said. “I’m now concentrating, if Manny is able to fight through until next year, I’m planning or hoping that the Mayweather fight can take place next year.”

Oh Bobby. I love it when you use your big brain for clever wordsmanship, rather than bad stuff — even though what he’s saying is kinda obvious, and reminds me that the richest fight in boxing history has been so delayed that I don’t care about it anymore.

At least there are some other swell fights in the works, be they but whispers on the wind or actual signed-and-sealed deliverables. Besides the folk in the headline, we look at what’s next for the people in the headline, Mikey Garcia, Tavoris Cloud, the undercard for Mayweather’s next fight and more. (h/t on the full commercial to friend of the site Bob)

Oh, and hey, look, we got a Facebook page now! Go like it or be our friend or post links to the latest semi-funny “Texts from Hillary” or whatever else you do on Facebook.

Round And Round

Never thought he’d do it, but good on middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. for facing Andy Lee in June on HBO. The team of JCC Superstar wasn’t interested in fighting Lee a little while back because he’s a southpaw, and he’s still left-handed, so it’s unclear what changed. This is a pure action fight on paper with two men who have nice ethnic followings. Middleweight champ Sergio Martinez was under the impression that he’d get the winner, in the fall but Chavez’ promoter Top Rank is all like, “Uh, we didn’t agree to that yet.” Too bad. I’ve traditionally been a skeptic of a Chavez-Martinez fight because I thought it’d be too one-sided for the champ, but if Chavez beat Lee he would become the best available opponent for Martinez. Unless…

Daniel Geale and Dmitry Pirog are on the verge of fighting in August on HBO. The winner of that fight also could be the best next opponent for Martinez, if not the winner of Chavez-Lee. Pirog first is going to fight Nobuhiro Ishida in May, which, for all the deserved criticism HBO has taken for not getting Pirog back on the network, goes to show that Pirog hasn’t given anyone much of any reason to hand him anything — fighting the leftovers (Ishida) of left-for-dead middleweights (Paul Williams)? On the undercard would be a junior middleweight bout between Austin Trout and Serhiy Dzinziruk. Trout recently signed with Al Haymon, but the announcement of that didn’t happen until after the rumors of this fight began circulating, so we have to file this under “inconculsive” about whether Haymon flexed his muscle on this one. I like this card, though — a nice doubleheader between four quality fighters. Does other fight guarantee action, or a crowd in the United States? Nah. But that’s not all that matters.

Junior middleweight action hero James Kirkland is recovering from a shoulder injury and a rocky showing against Carlos Molina, and seems to have a very narrow list of people he wants to face. He tried to get Cornelius Bundrage, but Bundrage might be busy elsewhere. He’s turned down the idea of Williams, and one suspects that Williams’ long-armed similarities to Ishida — who upset Kirkland last year and then lost to Williams — has something to do with it. But mainly he seems to either want a belt, in the form of Bundrage, or a big money bout, in the form of Saul Alvarez. Alvarez-Kirkland is a really nice little fight, almost enough to make me forget that Kirkland ought to give Molina a rematch (although his team surely wants none of it).

There have been a half-dozen reported reasons we might not get a yummy light heavyweight summer meeting between Tavoris Cloud and Jean Pascal, from old rumors that Don King wanted options on Pascal to mandatory title fights due and blah blah blah. Ideally, though, the fight will end up on Showtime sooner rather than later. And the reports that King has tried to get Showtime to air a Bundrage-Cory Spinks rematch or a Guillermo Jones cruiserweight bout as a price for delivering Cloud-Pascal? I dunno, I feel like I could live with either if that’s the tradeoff, especially if Jones fought someone worth a damn. Also at light heavyweight: Champ Bernard Hopkins could actually meet Nathan Cleverly in the U.K. should Hopkins get past Chad Dawson next week, a fight that doesn’t interest me and seemingly has only been discussed because Cleverly could get B-Hop another nice paycheck with a big U.K. crowd…?

Tomasz Adamek vs. Eddie Chambers is a nice heavyweight fight for June on NBC Sports, but I’m surprised it’s happening. Chambers has pulled out of his last two fights amid accusations of unprofessional behavior, once from a bout with a Main Events fighter, and Main Events promotes Adamek. Anyhow, I’ve always liked both Adamek and Chambers, and both are trying to rehab a little bit and should have real motivation to perform. Another couple heavyweight bouts: Alexander Dimitrenko next month faces Kubrat Pulev in a meeting of Ring top 10 heavies, and a Pulev win would prove he belongs there; and Alexander Povetkin’s next opponent could be either Dereck Chisora or Marco Huck, both welcome bouts, especially a Huck rematch.

It’s not clear why, but the team of featherweight Celestino Caballero is nervous about the chances of making a fight with Mikey Garcia. Who would be better for each man the the other? The bout could go to purse bid this weekend.

Kendall Holt-Josesito Lopez is a perfect, perfect, perfect ESPN2 fight between two junior welterweights reestablishing themselves a little, Holt coming off his win over Tim Coleman and Lopez coming off a perfectly defensible loss to Jessie Vargas. It’s also a great style match-up between pure physical talent and pure grit. Circle the date — May 25.

Having recently pulled out of fights or had fights pulled out of, super middleweights George Groves and Robert Stieglitz are now set to meet next month. I like what I saw from Groves against James DeGale, and Stieglitz has been in some fun bouts, plus this is the right level of fight for both men, but for some reason this fight fails to enthuse me.

Junior welterweight Danny Garcia might think he has bigger fish to fry, but I do hope Ajose Olusegun gets his overdue mandatory title shot. Olusegun says he won’t step aside. And Olusegun was fun enough against Ali Cheebah that I actually want to see the bout, on, say, an HBO or Showtime undercard.

As vice president of the Carson Jones fan club, I’m thrilled that he’s in the running for a welterweight fight against Kell Brook. It’s a real nice fight, too — similar to the Holt-Lopez dynamic of pure physical ability vs. pure grit.

Cruiserweight hell: An Enzo Maccarinelli-Shane McPhilbin rematch has been ordered, and Denis Lebedev’s next opponent could be Jean Marc Mormeck. At least Enzo-Shane II has an element of justice to it, what with Enzo getting bailed out by a subsequently suspended timekeeper for ringing the bell 47 seconds early when Enzo was on queer street in the 1st round. (BTW, why hasn’t that timekeeper been investigated? Why did he do that? What was his motive? “Extra training” is an interesting solution from British boxing authorities who are usually commendably quick to investigate.) And Lebedev is putting together the absolute worst schedule of any top-10 fighter in any division, looking to go after Mormeck in June with Mormeck coming off a slaughter-loss to heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko and showing no signs of being a good fighter at all these days, much like Lebedev’s recent opposition.

The Mayweather-Miguel Cotto undercard for next month is finalized, and it seems to be the final nail in the coffin of 2012’s reversal of 2011’s trend of improving pay-per-view undercards. The last bout of the undercard to be finished up is a junior middleweight bout between Deandre Latimore and Carlos Quintana. Is that a fight I’d be interested in watching on ESPN2? Modestly, perhaps. But this is a wasted opportunity on a high-profile PPV slot. The rest of the undercard is some crap featuring Alvarez against Shane Mosley and Vargas against Alfonso Lopez.

(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene; ESPN; RingTV; Fightnews; Maxboxing; 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.