Rarely is the intersection of boxing and religion so unintentionally hilarious. (h/t TQBR unofficial visual consultant Che)
Hey, howsabout 50 Cent’s TMT Promotions, huh? Starting with a stable of Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell, Andre Berto, Celestino Caballero, Zab Judah and Billy Dib — with the possibility of Floyd Mayweather, too — would give them a core comparable to giants Golden Boy and Top Rank. That stable would make their ranking of boxing’s most powerful figures here reasonable. What Fitty does with them will be the next important step, though. As we have no idea who those men will be matched with under their new promoter (and some are just speculative adds), we’ll feature them in some future edition of this Round And Round column, the place where we take a look at fights in the works, or, in some cases, not. And I don’t count Top Rank’s Bob Arum talking up the increased likelihood of Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao if Mayweather goes over to TMT. I don’t see it happening, that somehow Mayweather will suddenly not be making the kind of money demands that Pacquiao has rejected, and more probably, this is just Arum’s way of jabbing hated rival Golden Boy.
In this edition of Round And Round, we’ll take a look at fights in the works for the men in the headline, as well as Nonito Donaire, Brandon Rios, Tomasz Adamek, David Price and others.
Round And Round
Bummer about the light heavyweight Aug. 11 bout between Tavoris Cloud and Jean Pascal getting delayed due to a Pascal injury. I had planned on going. Even had bought tickets to Montreal. Now, it’s being rescheduled for October. It’s one of the action fights on the 2012 calendar and one of Showtime’s better decisions. In the meantime, the also-actiony undercard bout pitting super middleweight Adonis Stevenson against Don George is expected to switch dates, but could headline a card whatever date it ends up on.
Two more bad news items for August. Part I: Obviously Rafael Marquez’ fan-freindly junior featherweight fight against Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. isn’t happening this weekend, with that fight also moving to a newly crowded October. And the replacement for the originally-in-August appetizing middleweight bout between Gennady Golovkin and Dmitry Pirog now is Golovkin-Grzegorz Proksa, which is moving to September. It’s a good replacement fight.
In a bit of inverse news, a fight scheduled for October is moving to August. Just kidding. But the October junior featherweight fight between Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce is said to be in trouble, with Arce’s side balking. As well they should, if they don’t want their man to get bashed real good. If Arce skipped out, it’d be good for us, too, because Tishioki Nishioka could replace Arce, and that’s a better bout. I’ve read differing accounts of which fight will accompany Donare vs. whoever, with two show-stealing options being discussed: Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado (junior welterweight) and Orlando Salido-Mikey Garcia (featherweight).
If junior welterweight Danny Garcia is going to rematch someone he beat in his last two fights, I guess Erik Morales is as good an option as Amir Khan, and maybe better because an overweight Morales almost beat him and Khan got stopped. That’s the idea for (you guessed it) October. Khan wants a rematch, though, and that’s commendable. It’d be a reasonable enough fight after Garcia-Morales II, although if Garcia wins again I want him against Lucas Matthysse more.
Heavyweight Vitali Klitschko might retire or might not in the fall, and his manager says that whether he fights David Haye next year depends on whether Vitali wins election to the parliament in the Ukraine. The intersection of politics and boxing is often quite amusing as well.
Carl Froch and Lucian Bute are going to do a spring rematch of their super middleweight bout, it looks like, but first each is going to take a November bout. Froch is looking at, and/or being looked at, by a dangerous group, typical of Froch: Thomas Oosthuizen, Sakio Bika and Kelly Pavlik. Bute, who lost to Froch and needs to rebound from a shattering stoppage loss, is looking at a slightly less dangerous but still credible Denis Grachev. On Bute’s card, hot prospect junior welterweight Pier Olivier Cote is expected to face off against Ali Cheebah, a big step up from Cote’s past competition.
For his September date, Tomasz Adamek fortunately won’t be fighting a shot James Toney, as originally proposed, and will instead be looking at Travis Walker, a highly viable opponent who has lost bouts here and there but has beaten some decent heavyweights, too. Adamek’s promoter, Main Events, has also signed Steve Cunningham, who wants to move up to heavyweight, and there’s already talk fo Adamek-Cunningham II. I wish it had been at cruiserweight a few years ago, but there’s still some spice left in that rematch of a former Fight of the Year contender.
In actual cruiserweight action rather than just fantasy cruiserweight action (chances that those three words have ever appeared together: zippo), Yoan Pablo Hernandez will face Troy Ross in September. I like it. Cunningham had trouble with Ross, Hernandez had trouble with Cunningham, Hernandez beat Cunningham in a rematch and now he’s facing Ross. It all makes sense.
On the undercard of the Sept. 15 Showtime headliner Canelo Alvarez-Josesito Lopez (junior middleweight), Marcos Maidana will move up to welterweight permanently against Jesus Soto Karass, a surefire slugfest but one that’s between an undersized junior welterweight moving up and a worn-down brawler, respectively.
Junior featherweights Roman Gonzalez and Donnie Nietes are talking about a fight in late September themselves. It would be a quality bout for both men.
Not quality: Up-and-coming British heavyweight David Price vs. still-somehow-getting-fights British heavyweight Audley Harrison in October. Seriously, Brits: You can’t bite on this Audley thing anymore, right? Why does he keep getting big bouts? Somebody must be watching.
A good British bout being discussed would be Gavin Rees vs. Richard Abril at lightweight in one of the next two months. I’d favor Abril solidly, but Rees has shown he can’t be counted out.
For all the talk about whom Paulie Malignaggi might fight, it turns out it’ll be Pablo Cesar Cano when the latter moves up to welterweight in October. That one doesn’t move me, but it doesn’t offend me, either.
(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene; ESPN; RingTV; Guardian)