I’m firing up a three-for-one column today because I’ll be away from my computer for boxing-writing purposes all weekend. Although: Our Gautham Nagesh will write up the big junior welterweight clash this weekend between Amir Khan and Zab Judah on HBO, and our Andrew Harrison will write up the heavyweight Tyson Fury-Dereck Chisora fight he previewed here, so please do keep visiting. In the meantime, though, I wanted to give you something to chew on while I was gone.
Can you handle this? I don’t think you can handle this. This three-for-one column is too bootylicious for you, babe. Maybe you should look at one third of it today, one third tomorrow and one third Sunday.
In this edition of The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule, you get a sampling of Anthony Dirrell, Orlando Salido and even a replay of Delvin Rodriguez-Pawel Wolak.
In this edition of Quick Jabs, you get the scoring errors for Brian Viloria-Julio Cesar Miranda explained, more steroid allegations from the Mayweather clan and a bit of Antonio Tarver-Danny Green since we haven’t mentioned that fight yet that happened earlier this week.
In this edition of Round and Round, you get what’s next for Roman Gonzalez, Sergio Martinez, Brandon Rios and others.
As Flash Gordon’s pal Vultan would say, “DIIIIIIIVE!”
(Actually, before you DIIIIIVE, a quick TQBR announcement: Mike Coppinger won’t be on the staff for us anymore, sadly, because he’s now staff for BoxingScene instead. Good move for him, though; BoxingScene is the best breaking news site in the biz, and has a lot of great columnists, too. Meanwhile, you might have been noticing Corey Erdman’s stuff appearing in BoxingScene, too. That’s also good news for him, but the good news for us is that he’ll still be writing pieces here. In fact, some of the Round and Round material below is gleaned from stories that Coppinger and Erdman wrote for BoxingScene. I’m proud of those fellas. Give ‘em a hand.)
The Rest Of The Week’s Boxing Schedule
- Tyson Fury vs. Dereck Chisora, Saturday, Integrated Sports Pay-Per-View, London. I very much like this match-up of British heavyweights, so I’m sad I’m going to miss it. Fury and Chisora both have been in some kind of awkward fights, as shown by how maybe every now and again one of them punches himself or bites somebody. (As Andrew Harrison pointed out in his more substantial preview for us, which includes other anecdotes of silly behavior.) But neither of ‘em is shy, that’s for sure. It will most likely be a good one, especially with all the venom they’ve been spewing at each other. And I think the winner gets in the discussion for being worthy of the division’s top 10. It’s a risky bout for both; Chisora could have potentially waited around for Wladimir Klitschko to come get him, after bailing a couple times, while Fury is still fairly green. Chisora could still get Wlad if he wins, as the division champion says he’s looking at the winner of this bout for his next win, although Fury wisely recognizes he isn’t ready for Wlad if he wins.
- Anthony Dirrell vs. Kevin Engel/Delvin Rodriguez vs. Pawel Wolak replay, Friday, various ESPN channels, Cabazon Calif. Anthony, the less hated but less talented of the Dirrell brothers, is taking on an opponent who’s been stopped by super middleweight prospects Edwin Rodriguez and Marcus Johnson, but Engel’s a step up from some of Dirrell’s recent opposition, which has largely been atrocious. I’ve thought Anthony has looked all right from what I’ve seen of him since his return from cancer, but the jury’s out. The undercard for the ESPN2 Friday Night Fights main event — which is also airing on ESPN3, ESPN 3D and ESPN Deportes — also features fun welterweight Joseph Elegele against tough Lanard Lane, who pulled off a ShoBox upset that one time but lost his last fight to Mike Dallas, Jr. That’s the more interesting fight of the two, I say. Of course, the most interesting fight of them all is that Rodriguez-Wolak replay, which hits ESPN Classic earlier Friday night, then leads into FNF on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. You’ve probably had a chance to catch that fight a couple times all over the place by now, but it’s still nice for ESPN to give some love to an instant classic by putting it on ESPN Classic and the rest. More on Rodriguez-Wolak and one of the Dirrell brothers in Round and Round, below.
- Orlando Salido vs. Kenichi Yamaguchi, Saturday, Fox Deportes/Fox Sports Net, Ciudad Obregon Mexico. No kidding, this was a pretty good salvage job by Top Rank et al to find a “just right” replacement opponent for Salido to make his first featherweight title defense. Mike Oliver would have done the trick, too, but Yamaguchi’s as good if not better. He’s credible but doesn’t figure to derail a bigger-money rematch for Salido with Juan Manuel Lopez. As always, happy hunting finding the Top Rank Live program and watching it in its entirety, since this whole Fox/boxing thing has been something of a logistical mess since day one. Unlike foxy boxing, which is only ever logistically excellent.
- The Rest. Junior featherweight Christopher Martin headlines the show over at TeleFutura’s Solo Boxeo Tecate, but not against anyone worthy… Middleweight Peter Quillin and featherweight Gary Russell, Jr. were at various points maybe going to be on the televised undercard of Khan-Judah, but Quillin had some opponents fall through and Russell’s team reportedly couldn’t agree on an opponent with HBO, so both will be untelevised against lesser foes. More on Quillin in Round and Round, below.
There are some highlights of Antonio Tarver-Danny Green, the big cruiserweight fight this week I missed. I still haven’t seen the whole contest, but like one of the YouTube commenters said, Tarver sure did look like he was committing to those punches. And maybe he got a little help with some off-contract gloves. Imagine! Green mixed up in some glove controversy…
Trainer Roger Mayweather has now accused Khan of using steroids, too. Yeah, Roger, we buy it. You have spies in Freddie Roach’s camp who not only are on the inner circle of the people who would know Khan and Manny Pacquiao are rocking some steroids, but those poeple betray him all the time. I did like conditioning coach Alex Ariza’s reply: “Nouns, verbs… all of those things can be confusing for someone who never finished high school and that’s by his own admission.” A little snotty, sure, but every now and then you gotta fight fire with fire. Although some of the mess over in the Pacquiao camp has gotten ugly, and even spilled out into some inflammatory allegations toward people who aren’t in the camp…
The Timothy Bradley lawsuit has begun. We’ve heard a lot about Bradley getting jobbed by Gary Shaw and crew, so it’s interesting to hear the other side talk about the ways the junior welterweight did them wrong. I’m not playing judge here. I’m just saying that I like hearing both sides of the story. The courts, presumably, will decide who’s right, unless Bradley throws in the towel and decides his freedom from Shaw et al is less important than being able to fight at all. Bradley’s career has become one giant annoyance to me, and in every way imaginable…
We have a couple venues set for a a couple big fights. The junior middleweight rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito is now definitely in Madison Square Garden, and that’s definitely where it should be. The super middleweight tournament finale between Andre Ward and Carl Froch will be in Atlantic City, which is good for me because I’m thinking of getting a credential now that I know it’s on the East Coast. It would’ve been better in Europe or California, probably, but Showtime has the right contractually to stage the finale in the United States and an understandable desire to do so, while I also understand Froch being reluctant of going to Ward’s home turf in Cali…
In case you were wondering how the announcer for the flyweight Brian Viloria-Julio Cesar Miranda read scores that left out multiple rounds, the WBO’s Leon Panoncillo has explained it was because the announcer was given two sheets and only read off the scores at the end of the first one. Uh, next time give him one piece of paper, or tell him which one to read off of, goofballs — assuming it’s true, by the way, since it was a WBO person talking about a Hawaii person…
Jorge Barrios can leave Argentina to fight, finally. From a boxing standpoint, this is good news. But from a “traffic in your neighborhood” standpoint, it is not.
Round And Round
(A hot model pictured with some very non-utilitarian heels for the boxing ring or even training; h/t Unofficial TQBR Visual Consultant Jim, via)
Speaking of Tarver: He might have to give Green a rematch contractually, and Green appears to want one. I’ve read differing accounts of how competitive Green was, with some saying that Green gave Tarver a little trouble, so I guess that means it wouldn’t be a total waste of time. But, also, Lateef Kayode wants a piece of Tarver (seriously, that guy is bold!) and so does Steve Cunningham, the division’s #1 man. So, Tarver could add some juice to this division with his name and with the nice win he got over Green. Also, Marco Huck and Krzystof Wlodarczyk could square off in October. So, stuff might be happening at 200 pounds.
Speaking of Rodriguez and Wolak: Rodriguez-Wolak II might still be on the agenda for the fall or winter, but I find it interesting that now there’s talk of Wolak fighting Jesus Soto Karass instead. Don’t get me wrong, Wolak-Karass isn’t a bad scrap in the least. But Rodriguez-Wolak II is far more desirable. I wonder if this means that Wolak’s team worries that Rodriguez started to find Wolak’s number as the fight went on? Or is the fight too expensive now to do over or something? Rodriguez, for his part, hasn’t been interviewed as much as Wolak, but he was interviewed here and he, too, says he has a lot of options coming off that peformance, which is good for him. Still want Rodriguez-Wolak II more than anything else for either of those guys, by a long shot.
And the last “speaking of,” Cotto-Margarito II: Both Cory Spinks (per Erdman) and Cornelius Bundrage are saying they want a piece of the winner of that fight. If the winner of that fight has much left in the tank and wants to take on a credible/dangerous but underdog fighter, both men would do, and both men are more fun to watch than they used to be, so why not?
Junior flyweight sensation Roman Gonzalez says that Ulises Solis or Ivan Calderon figure as his next opponent on Oct. 1. I like Gonzalez-Solis a lot, although either win would give Gonzalez the biggest name on his resume of lil’ punchers.
The on-again off-again fights for the Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson ill-advised October pay-per-view light heavyweight showdown keeps mutating. Talks for Kendall Holt-Lucas Matthysse (junior weltereight) were back on, per Erdman, but then it turns out maybe Holt fights Danny Garcia instead. Both are good, Holt-Matthysse is better. Also in talks for the undercard is the still-interesting lightweight bout between Jorge Linares and Antonio DeMarco.
I admire Quillin for wanting a slice of middleweight champ Sergio Martinez. I don’t think, as Freddie Roach claimed, that Martinez isn’t anything special and that Quillin would take him. But if Quillin could beat one legitimate contender, I’d buy him as a Martinez opponent in the shallow 160-pound ranks. Golden Boy’s Eric Gomez has said Quillin might need a little more time; he had had been offered a Martinez fight for October. That’s also probably true. Of course, anyone at 160 is a heavy underdog against Martinez at this point, so I’m not sure how much difference any time would make. Martinez himself keeps calling out Pacquiao and Mayweather, and I understand why — they’re the biggest names and two of the only guys who could make a claim to being better than him. But when asked about moving up to super middleweight, his team scoffs. As long as Martinez understands that size can be a good reason to turn down a fight, I really don’t have a problem with neither Mayweather nor Pacquiao moving up to face him, same way I don’t have a problem with Martinez staying at middleweight.
P.S. on Martinez, his October bout with Darren Barker will be paired with the Andy Lee-Brian Vera rematch, we now know for sure. That’s a better middleweight fight than the headliner, which, again, is disappointing but there’s not much better out there for Martinez at his weight that was available.
On Aug. 27, there is a nice little doubleheader featuring heavyweight up-and-comers vs. heavyweight just-past-its. One we’ve talked about — Alexander Povetkin-Ruslan Chagaev. Paired with that fight would be Robert Helenius-Sergei Liakhovich. In both bouts, the younger fighters would be favored, surely, but the older ones might have enough juice left where an upset wouldn’t be much of a surprise.
One of the sanctioning bodies has ordered a nice little light heavyweight tournament with Jean Pascal-Zsolt Erdei and Ismayl Sillakh-Chris Henry, with the winner to face Hopkins for his belt. Ever so rarely, the sanctioning boys have a decent idea, but if I was doing a tourney I would have Tavoris Cloud in there, too. Also, they ordered Vanes Martirosyan-Alfredo Angulo at junior middleweight. I like that scrap a lot, if Angulo’s assorted career troubles can be killed long enough for him to get in the ring.
Lightweight Brandon Rios said his next opponent could be Michael Katsidis or Kevin Mitchell. I think Rios murders both guys, but it’s a step up from Marco Antonio Barrera. I know a lot of people think Rios-Katsidis could be some kind of Gatti-Ward IV or something, but I really don’t. I think Rios is just that much better now than Katsidis at this point in their careers. Meanwhile, Rios and Mercito Gesta continue to talk major trash to one another, which means we might see that fight down the line. I don’t think Gesta’s ready yet, and Rios might not be in the division by the time he is, though.
A couple British consolation bouts, of sorts: Breidis Prescott and Paul McCloskey are set to meet Sept. 10 in a battle between men who want rematches with Khan, and I can buy the winner of Prescott-McCloskey as a future Khan opponent more than I can Erik Morales, if we’re talking about a kind of “in-between” fight for a Khan who’s waiting for Mayweather or Bradley or what have you. Also, John Murray’s stock isn’t too diminished after losing to Mitchell the other week, but he and Gavin Rees — who had his own setback in ’08 to Andriy Kotelnyk (yes, that’s the latest BoxRec spelling of his name) and hasn’t done much since — could be fighting in a minor crossroads bout.
Good for Kermit Cintron for wanting to get right back in there against a quality opponent, welterweight Antwone Smith, on Aug. 12. That’s a very nice ESPN2 main event.
And the moment you’ve all been waiting for: talented/loathed Dirrell brother Andre is set to be back in the ring XX against Sebastian Demers. It’s just about right as a comeback opponent; Demers’ ceiling at super middleweight is now established, but he’s got a name, anyway.
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene, The Telegraph, Maxboxing)