Matchmaking is more art than science, as we saw this weekend when Tony Thompson (D.C. BOXING WHAT UP!!!!) stunned heavyweight super-prospect David Price. I bet cowboy here thought he could take a deer. He clearly could not. Or maybe there's something to be said for going in overconfident. Cowboy probably thought, "No deer could whoop me." Most of the recent Prospects of the Year, like David Price was in 2012, have had rough luck in the very next year. Victor Ortiz, Amir Khan, Danny Jacobs and now Price all got starched the year after they won the award, while Gary Russell, Jr. just sort of hung out fighting no-hopers and hurt his reputation. Don't let being a top prospect go to your head, Prospects of the Year. That opponent you thought was a deer might turn out to be a tiger.
Matchmaking is what the Round And Round column is all about, and we'll visit with D.C. boxing heroes (D.C. BOXING REPRESENT!!!!) Thompson and Lamont Peterson after the big weekend for D.C. boxers (D.C. BOXING IN DA HOUSE!!!!). We'll visit as well with the men in the headline, and Marcos Maidana, Canelo Alvarez, Roman Gonzalez and some others.
Round And Round
Nonito Donaire vs. Guillermo Rigondeaux is still likely to happen in my book, but the posturing has gotten way out of hand. Donaire has used Twitter as a cudgel to allege all kinds of things about Rigo that turn out to be premature or only partially true. Yeah, Rigo didn't want to use the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association, citing fears that the outfit was too close to Donaire and hoping to switch in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency; but, eventually, given an ultimatum by promoter Bob Arum, he signed his name. Maybe Rigo didn't need to be so intransigent when he has no leverage, but Donaire went ballistic out of proportion. Then there was another flare-up over whether Rigo was avoiding the actual VADA tests, only for it to be resolved a day later. This is a quality fight from a competitive standpoint as a bout between the junior featherweight champ and the #1 contender, but it's still a bit of a let-down from a potential Donaire-Abner Mares fight, it could be a total snoozer given both men's inclination to sit back and counterpunch, and now it's wearing down folks' interests because of all the melodrama. Both dudes: Stop being drama queens. Nonito, it's great that you are doing year-round VADA testing, but stop using that to be high and mighty 100 percent of the time; Rigo, realize that you've been given a bigger fight than you'll get from anyone else and just cooperate with the program.
Saul Alvarez doesn't have his opponent finalized for May 5 yet. I'm sure Golden Boy still doesn't want it to be Austin Trout, but Alvarez-Trout is a real competitive junior middleweight fight and exactly what Alvarez needs if he's going to step in against Floyd Mayweather next.
About those D.C. boxers (D.C. BOXING MOTHERF… OK I'll stop now), part I: Junior welterweight Lamont Peterson is being hooked up with a Lucas Matthysse fight next, and I love that bout — a body punching fiesta between a clever boxer and a nasty puncher. The idea would be to have it in D.C. and pair it with Devon Alexander-Kell Brook, the postponed welterweight bout, in May. That's a quality doubleheader. I love the idea of Peterson-Matthysse with the winner facing the winner of Danny Garcia-Zab Judah, although Adrien Broner is eyeing Garcia and we'll see if Golden Boy doesn't skip him to the front of the line.
About those D.C. boxers, part II: Tony Thompson, coming off his big upset win over David Price, might have to deal with a rematch clause before he can (try to) conquer the other gigantic British heavyweight, Tyson Fury. He's saying he'll want more money or the fight will have to be in the United States. He won't be able to get both of those things, because Price being an attraction in the United Kingdom is fundamental to his pay rate.
Here's another good one, or, rather, two: Welterweights Marcos Maidana and Josesito Lopez are likely to go at it April 20. Pure slugfest. Love it. Oh, and there's another one booked for the same card — Abner Mares vs. Daniel Ponce De Leon at featherweight. Holy cow. That has "card of the year" potential. Amir Khan has apparently signed to fight Julio Diaz as he continues his career rehab, and it might air on Showtime on April 20 as part of a tripleheader, or it might be April 27 instead. I don't care about that fight at all, but if it's at the bottom of a better card and Showtime doesn't pay heavily for it, it's less annoying.
If, as of last week, you thought Ricky Burns-Miguel Vazquez was a "go" for March 16 apparently you were wrong, because Vazquez had said it wan't finalized. But the lightweight match-up is all good now, apparently. It'll air on Epix. I know nobody likes watching Vazquez, myself included, but I'd rather have the option and I'm glad Epix is picking it up. Broner wants the winner, then Garcia, so hopefully Burns wins rather than Vazquez.
Heavyweight Tomasz Adamek confused the world by saying he would turn down the Kubrat Pulev bout for a chance to win one of Wladimir Klitschko's heavyweight trinkets because he could make more money fighting someone else in Poland. Only nobody seems to know who that even could be. This has the look of a smokescreen for an aging warrior who has little interest in taking on a dangerous young foe at this point in his career.
Marco Huck and Ola Afolabi are headed toward a trilogy bout. Why the hell not? The two cruiserweights have waged two even fights, the last one particularly fun.
It's been a while since this went down, but it's a bummer that Kazuto Ioka has stepped away from a junior flyweight bout against Roman Gonzalez. It would've been a corker. The excuse kind of made sense — Ioka is pretty green and isn't ready for someone like Gonzalez, his team said — but man would it've been fun.
James DeGale is among the dudes angling for a bout against super middleweight champion Andre Ward. He's not ready. But he could be right there with a couple big wins.
Gabriel Rosado wants Ishe Smith coming off his win this weekend, since he's got the junior middleweight belt he might've gotten himself off Cornelius Bundrage if he hadn't taken better money to meet Gennady Golovkin at middleweight on HBO. Rosado-Smith would only be fair, but then, fairness isn't something you can count on from the alphabet gang.
Joan Guzman vs. Vicente Mosquera… wait, THAT Mosquera? The one who went to war with Edwin Valero back in 2006 and then went to jail for a long time? Neat. Hopefully some channel or the other (Epix? WealthTV? ESPN2) picks up that junior welterweight fight if it comes through in May.
Dmitry Salita-Hector Camacho, Jr. sure kicked up a lot of dust for a low-level match-up aimed at New York City ethnic fan bases. Everyone — Salita, Camacho, Golden Boy — was confused about who pulled out and who didn't, but in the end both junior middleweights said they still wanted to fight and remain interested in fighting on the rescheduled April 27 card headlined by Garcia-Judah.
(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene; ESPN; Ring; Tha Boxing Voice; gif h/t to friend of the site Chris aka The Count Of Monte Fisto)