Happy Halloween. What do you think would happen if Manny Pacquiao (at right) fought the actual Batman (not his trainer Freddie Roach dressed as the Dark Knight, at left)? Answer if you’re a Pacquiao fanatic: “Pacquiao would make him taste the canvas in one round and then knock out Superman in the 2nd round!!!!” Answer if you’re a Floyd Mayweather fanatic: “Pacquiao would get KTFO because all he’s ever fought is straight-ahead Mexicans and Batman would punish that ass.”
Pacquiao and Mayweather come up in this edition of Quick Jabs, which, besides the subjects in the headline, includes some discussion of Texas scale funny business; Versus picking up another fight after seemingly stepping away from boxing; the seemingly endless quests for Shane Mosley-Andre Berto and Juan Diaz-Paulie Malignaggi II; and much more.
Boxing is dead update: The heavyweight fight between Tomasz Adamek and Andrew Golota drew 13 million viewers, more than a quarter of the population of Poland where it aired and greater than the original 10 million estimate. It also was the most-searched for topic on Google Oct. 27, three days after the fight. Boxing is dead, man. Put a fork in that thing…
Because there are people whose betting habits are informed by the referees and judges, those people should know that all of them have been named for the Nov. 14 fight between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto at 145 pounds. You’ve got Kenny Bayless playing zebra, who’s a good ref, one of the best. He’s handled fights involving Pacquiao and Cotto separately without incident, but how he handles things if Cotto gets a little rough is the crucial question; Bayless tends not to have incidents, really, which I think probably speaks to his command of the ring. Judging the fight are Dave Moretti, Adalaide Byrd and Duane Ford…
One of the most stunning things about the Pacquiao/Cotto 24/7 series debut on HBO was the revelation from Cotto’s father that Cotto was bleeding from his ears, and bleeding tears (!) after his loss to Antonio Margarito. That ought to put it even more into question whether Margarito’s hand wraps were legit for that fight, since he got busted in his next fight with illegal wraps. But it was interesting to hear Cotto and Margarito promoter Bob Arum officially switch sides after arguing that Margarito vehemently didn’t have loaded gloves, now saying “it’s not far-fetched” that Margarito may have loaded his gloves for the Cotto fight. And it sounds like more witnesses place Cotto trainer/uncle Evangelista in the room at the time of the wraps than not, per the link above…
If you want to know the difference between Pacquiao and Mayweather and why Pacquiao is so beloved by most hardcore fans and Mayweather is so hated by many hardcore fans, I think Pacquiao said it best: “With Floyd, boxing is like a business,” Pacquiao said. “He doesn’t care about the people around him watching. He doesn’t care if the fight is boring, as long as the fight is over and he gets the money, it’s good. I want the people to be happy. If I [was] in the audience, I’m going to watch the boxing because it’s a good fight.” Boxing is a business, of course, but hardcore fans like boxers who give a damn about putting on a good show and fighting the best opponents. Friend of the site Chris passes along this audio of a rapper named RA arguing with Mayweather. I think it’s really interesting to hear Mayweather make every excuse he can for not fighting everyone RA brings up, and I can’t BELIEVE the nerve of Mayweather bringing up the possibility of a fight with Ricky Hatton, the guy he already knocked out and that Pacquiao just demolished. RA made some factual errors himself (vis-a-vis Shane Mosley in 1999) but my favorite error either made was when Mayweather insisted he made $12 million to fight Carlos Baldomir. That’s an exaggeration; he got $8 million, at best, which is why he got criticized for not fighting Antonio Margarito for the same amount…
Good news for those of you still able to get the Versus channel, i.e., not DirecTV customers: The Dec. 2 Roy Jones-Danny Green cruiserweight fight in Australia will air on tape delay to accompany the Bernard Hopkins-Enrique Ornelas light heavyweight fight the same day. It’s a good way to generate some heat for Jones-Hopkins II, which some in boxing aren’t exactly hyped about coming years after it should have. It also shows — as I’ve read somewhere but can’t recall — that Versus is going to be in the boxing business still from time to time. There’s been talk of Fox Sports stepping in to take on some more boxing, too, FWIW…
Also good to see the tragic story of junior featherweight Al Seeger getting some more attention. BoxingScene’s Jake Donovan did a good write-up, and although he didn’t come down with his personal view on whether Victor Fonseca was fighting dirty — he mentions my take that yes, it was superduper dirty — overall, the spotlight is a good thing. The fight happened in Texas, where four fighters on a card over the weekend came in overweight, prompting their camps to question the scale. Which is more likely: Four fighters missed weight and had never weighed themselves before the fight so had no clue they would be overweight, or TEXAS IS INCOMPETENT…
Sanctioning organizations suck news: The WBC is offering four and six-round championship belts to fighters in Mexico. You couldn’t write a satire of sanctioning belt politics if you wanted to, because there’s no absurdity they won’t indulge. Meanwhile, junior middleweight Harry Joe Yorgey is pressing the WBO to sanction his Nov. 7 fight with Alfredo Angulo as an interim belt bout, even though Paul Williams is already the interim belt-holder. Huh…
I don’t have a vote for boxing’s Hall of Fame, but can I tell you who I DON’T think deserves a spot? Light heavyweight Sven Ottke. He never fought anyone all that good except Glen Johnson, and that decision, among others, has been called questionable — since Ottke only fought outside his native Germany once (in nearby Austria), questionable decisions were bound to go his way. I just think that if Ottke gets into the Hall, it sends the message to boxers that it’s OK to not fight anybody and coast on an undefeated record. Don’t do it, voters. If you have him on your ballot and you haven’t handed it in yet today, scratch him off.
Round And Round
Shane Mosley-Andre Berto at welterweight on Jan. 30 still isn’t made. Given that Berto apparently has not signed the contract, Mosley should consider dumping Berto and taking Joshua Clottey instead. Speaking of, hey, what’s that next about Clottey?
Paul Williams has had all kinds of potential replacement opponents for Dec. 5, to the point that they even considered moving the bout to Dec. 12 instead. Most of the people discussed have been junior middleweights. Sergei Dzinziruk was one candidate, but he’s in a feud with promoter Universum so he was out. Cory Spinks was even in the running for a while, and my distaste for Spinks is such that I didn’t even care all that much that the winner of that bout would be crowned the legitimate champion of the division. Clottey was on the radar for a little bit, but he turned down $650,000 to fight Williams, more than he would have ever made. One of Clottey’s arguments was that, hey I made less against Cotto. Uh, that’s not an argument. You shouldn’t get paid more to fight Williams, which won’t fill any arenas, than to fight Cotto in a bout that filled Madison Square Freaking Garden. If it was a weight issue, fine, but this “I won’t be ready” thing doesn’t hold water, either, because the fight he was scheduled for on the Williams undercard had only recently been called off, so how much unready could he have gotten? Clottey has gone from “criminally underappreciated/underpaid and one of the few guys to call out Williams” to “delusional about his value and seemingly unwilling to fight Williams like he said he was.” But I guess he’d be “ready” for Mosley by Jan. 30, under his own calculus. This all leaves us, quite encouragingly, with Sergio Martinez, whom, reports suggested Friday, has a verbal agreement for a Dec. 5 fight with Williams, possibly still in Atlantic City and maybe in California. It would, a little surprisingly, be at 160 pounds. I get that Williams was training for a fight at that weight, but I thought he had been saying could make the lower weight easily; asking Martinez to move up is slightly sketchy, although Martinez has talked about moving up to 160 before himself, so he wasn’t too bothered. It’s a good fight, either way.
The thinking was that Juan Diaz-Paulie Malignaggi II at 139 pounds could switch from Dec. 12 to Dec. 5 if need be, but it now looks like it won’t have to. The holdup there is that they apparently get a site in Chicago, and Diaz’ team is more willing to consider Atlantic City now because the money’s better. I don’t know how pronounced an advantage that site would be for the NYC-based Malignaggi anyway. I doubt all that many New Yorkers are going to make a pilgrimage to AC to cheer every Malignaggi punch and therefore potentially sway the judges. I guess people in Jersey would be more likely to root for a nearby guy, if anybody, but I also guess there are some Mexican-Americans in the region who would find there way there to root for Diaz.
Arthur Abraham-Andre Dirrell in January as part of the Super Six super middleweight tournament is likely headed for Madison Square Garden, reportedly. Cool spot, but weird spot — why not, say, Michigan, near Dirrell’s home base? I wonder how many New Yorkers buy tickets to that fight. Light heavyweight Chad Dawson has talked about wanting to move into the Super Six on Showtime if Jermain Taylor bows out, by the way. I like the idea, but HBO has some kind of rights — “first/last,” which I confess I’ve never heard of — on his next bout, after the Glen Johnson rematch. It kind of puts HBO in a bind; they’ve spent a lot of money on Dawson so far, and if he beats Johnson again he would be a hotter property. But if he doesn’t move down to super middleweight, he doesn’t have very many good options (at least not better than the Super Six field) in early 2010, since Jones and Hopkins are busy with one another. Maybe the winner of Lucian Bute-Librado Andrade II in November? HBO, either way, risks overpaying for another Dawson fight because of the lure of the Super Six.
It looks quite settled that on Jan. 23, Juan Manuel Lopez will fight Steve Luevano and on the same featherweight card, YURIORKIS GAMBOA! will fight Rogers Mtagwa. I’m still bitter that Lopez isn’t fighting Celestino Caballero, but Luevano would still be the best fighter Lopez had ever stepped into the ring with. Likewise, Mtagwa for Gamboa. It’s good to see Mtagwa getting another shot at a big-money bout, producing as he does annually entertaining, Fight of the Year-caliber wars, like the one he just produced with Lopez. Gamboa’s got some big balls taking on an iron-chinned type who gave Lopez so much trouble. Mtagwa can punch, and Gamboa’s chin is shaky. This is a good card if it stays this way, which isn’t a guarantee with Arum cards.
There’s an agreement with Israel Vazquez for Vazquez-Rafael Marquez IV at featherweight, but Marquez is having some kind of fallout with his promoter Gary Shaw, and Vazquez promoter Golden Boy doesn’t want to leave Shaw hanging. Interesting to see the promoters playing nice that way. I still hope Vazquez-Marquez IV never happens, especially after Vazquez looked so much like damaged goods in his last fight.
Coming off the Golota win, Adamek is talking about fighting Hasim Rahman next. It’s a warm-up fight, really, and legit because of that. But even if it’s not entirely Adamek’s fault that he hasn’t scored a big name, he just hasn’t fought an elite guy this year and doesn’t have anyone elite on his schedule for next year. Soon, Adamek needs to fight somebody real.
Also at heavyweight, Chris Arreola’s likely opponent for the Williams undercard is Derric Rossy. Rossy’s about the kind of guy Arreola ought to be fighting in a comeback from his first loss. And Rossy probably will lose, but it’s nice to see him getting a nice moneymaking bout coming off an upset of Carl Davis Drummond; he’s also a very likable fellow.
Kendall Holt-Nate Campbell at junior welterweight would be an interesting meeting of recent victims of Timothy Bradley (OK, the Campbell fight was a no contest, but most thought Bradley was winning), and there’s been some talk of it. But Campbell is insisting on sitting out his contract with Don King, which runs another six months or so, I believe.
Bantamweight Hozumi Hasegawa was scheduled to meet Eric Morel in December, but he’s now going to meet Alvaro Perez instead. I like Hasegawa, but I don’t think he’s fought more than one top-10 caliber bantam in three years, and Morel would have been the closest he’d got. It’s not Hasegawa’s fault this time, really, because Morel had problems with his travel to Japan because of his criminal history.
Heavyweight leftovers: 1. The winner of Ray Austin and Davarryl Williamson would fight Oleg Maskaev and the winner would fight Vitali Klitschko. I don’t care to see Vitali fight any of those dudes, really. 2. The plans of David Tua are kind of unsettled. It does look like he’ll fight outside New Zealand, possibly in New York, Honolulu, Germany or Brazil. The next bout would be in New Zealand. It is unclear who he’ll fight, with Friday Ahunanya one name thrown out there. Tua himself wants a shot at a Klitschko or Nicolay Valuev, if he wins his Nov. 7 fight against David Haye. 3. Jean-Marc Mormeck is coming back as a heavyweight, in a bout against Vinny Madalone that’s been moved to Dec. 17 because of an injury to Mormeck. Appropriate fight, given Mormeck being unproven at heavy, and Madalone always being a tough and fun boxer who’s nonetheless very beatable.
(Round And Round sources: ESPN, BoxingScene, news releases)