Who would win in a fight between Rocky and Raging Bull? Rocky, just because he's a heavyweight and Raging Bull is a middleweight. Between the actors? Guess we'll just have to wait for the movie to come out. You know what would be extra-great? If Robert De Niro gave a damn about being an Actor, capital A, again, although I doubt this movie will be the excuse.
There are so many things for us boxing fans to give a damn about post-Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez last weekend, although some of them are still related. Have you considered giving a damn about TQBR's Facebook page, for instance, for a remembrance of the recently departed Ken Norton? We're nearing 500 "likes" and would "like" it if you helped us get there. There's also the Boxing Tweet of the Week and updates on new blog posts and videos and photos and news tidbits and more. So do that. And then read on:
We have the subjects in the headline, as well as awkward alliances between boxing strength and conditioning coaches, the return of Andre Ward, more Kelly Pavlik high jinks and yet other boxing news items worthy of one-paragraphical examination. We'll separate it into Quick Jabs for newsier elements and Round And Round, for fights in the works/not in the works.
C.J. Ross is taking a leave of absence because of the controversy over her draw scorecard for the Mayweather-Alvarez junior middleweight bout, and that makes all the sense in the world. It might be the end of her judging career, in fact, which would also be OK. She's turned in a couple truly horrible cards now with this one and Timothy Bradley-Manny Pacquiao that suggest she isn't right for boxing judging. The near-constant barrage of attacks on her after the fight went overboard, so assuming there's no corruption (and I assume none) I wish her the best in her other pursuits. I am glad that Nevada's governor got involved, because it suggests high-level interest in fixing the problem of bad judging in the state, admittedly no worse than in many states but also too defended by Nevada officials…
Lightweight Ricky Burns' boxing career might be threatened by his jaw injury against Raymundo Beltran, and I hope it isn't. Beltran deserved the win in what was erroneously ruled a draw, absolutely, but Burns has a history of being in quality fights and winning many of them, so he's all kinds of excitment/importance…
Alex Ariza is out as a coach for Manny Pacquiao, and he has reportedly joined forces with Memo Heredia, followed by him talking smack on Twitter about Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach as someone too ill thanks to his Parkinson's to train fighters properly, something that might be true but that still comes off as petty. Heredia has admitted dealing peformance enhancing drugs in the past, so it's not the wisest PR move for Ariza — who had previously come under PED fire without evidence — to align himself with that crowd. It also isn't going to make Ariza sympathetic to have had a try-out with Pacquiao's upcoming welterweight opponent, Brandon Rios, which has reportedly ceased…
Ex-middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik has been in nothing but legal trouble of late, which is too bad because of how awesome he was. There was the alleged cabbie theft, which is one thing, but then there's the failure to appear, and that's hard to explain away. Pavlik is an ex-boxing figure with a brain that has something to offer for the sport as a whole, but he keeps getting into hot water and we might not be able to enjoy him fully in a sort of candid sub-Mike Tyson way if he's going to be headed toward more enduring legal run-ins…
Adrien Broner and Marcos Maidana recently had a physical run-in in advance of their potential December welterweight bout because Maidana was upset about a homophobic slur by Broner. Broner, meanwhile, keeps saying threatening, misogynist things that hint at the possibility he could be in jail even before a Maidana bout…
Round And Round
David Haye vs. Tyson Fury this coming weekend is off, thanks to a cut suffered in sparring Friday night. Unfortunate, because it was a rare heavyweight bout (outside one featuring a Klitschko) that was a real attraction. It does probably save Fury an ass-whoopin', though, so a more winnable but still difficult fight vs. Tony Thompson could replace it. As for Haye, it's unclear why he was sparring so late by his own standards of when you should stop sparring so as to avoid getting cut, aka 10 days from the fight date. He's also had some repeated incidents of injury leading to a bout postponement, including his last scheduled fight, which is not me casting doubt on the legitimacy of the injury so much as it's saying that if Haye signs for a fight, you shouldn't expect fully that it will actually happen.
Super middleweight champion Andre Ward is finally back in the ring in November, against Edwin Rodriguez. It's a fight worthy of HBO, although I'm wondering how much they had to sweeten the pot to satisfy both Ward's purse demands and Rodriguez's, both higher than they probably ought to be. It's nonetheless a good thing overall that the best young American talent with a ticketselling fan base is going to get in the ring with a quality contender in his division.
We still don't have a signed contract, apparently, for a welterweight showdown in December on Showtime between Devon Alexander and Amir Khan. The speculation is that Khan is hoping to go directly to Mayweather next year, so why take a risky bout against Alexander? It's not speculation without basis. Khan's U.K. base, Muslim religion and speed could "sell," and there's a chance Alexander beats him. On the other hand, much as with Canelo-Austin Trout and the credibility that win bought Canelo, Khan could sell the bout all the more if he could beat an actual welterweight contender.
Miguel Cotto-Pacquiao II won't happen, says trainer Freddie Roach, now that he's added Cotto to his stable. There was a weird one-source story on BoxingScene about HBO turning down a two-fight deal where Cotto would eventually face middleweight champ Sergio Martinez, although I gather Martinez-Cotto could still be an option somehow, and the winner would be in potential line for a Mayweather fight, no?
Peter Quillin-Gabriel Rosado is a go for October, on the Showtime undercard of the light heavweight bout between Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat. Rosado keeps getting lured up to middleweight despite the fact that he's a junior middleweight, which is no good for his career long-term, although short-term it's hard to turn down the HBO/Showtime money he's been getting offered. As tough as Rosado is, Quillin should dispense with him reasonably easily.
Cristian Mijares is mad that junior featherweight titlist Leo Santa Cruz is geting to make a voluntary defense of his belt, but that's the wage of dancing with the alphabets. Santa Cruz could do the voluntary defense in November.
Hard-punching welterweight Randall Bailey is looking at Keith Bizier soon. It's a fight that makes sense. Can Bailey exeed one punch every three rounds? If so, he can win, which is the case with every fight where he throws more than a handful of punches per bout.
Flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi was supposed to face Edgar Sosa in November in a real test of his merit as a divisional king, but the fight has been postponed to December. Yaegashi has had the air of a champ by fortune, but that would be harder to say should be beat Sosa.
(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene; FightHype; MaxBoxing; The Times of London; AskMen)