The Internet suffers for no lack of pictures of women with boxing gloves draped over their breasts, but none have a worse haircut than that. (h/t unofficial TQBR visual consultant Che)
Saturday suffers from no lack of boxing. You could watch boxing on TV in the United States starting on CBS at 4:30 p.m. until it wasn't Saturday anymore, although the schedule has been rejiggered a little. Junior featherweight Guillermo Rigondeaux lost his opponent, Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym, after he reportedly tested positive for HIV, so that fight's off. And HBO added the latest episode of "Fight Game" to the schedule, so you can watch that now too, in addition to all the other things.
But Rigondeaux will be back on HBO soon, for all those Rigondeauxiacs. He'd face an opponent to be determined on a Feb. 23 double-header with junior welterweight Timothy Bradley, who looks like he'd be facing Ruslan Provodnikov. The early 2013 calendar is already getting crowded, with the likes of Adrien Broner, Austin Trout, Paulie Malignaggi, Carl Froch and several more working on their next fights.
Round And Round
It had looked like Floyd Mayweather would face welteweight Robert Guerrero next, but the latest scuttlebutt has him facing junior middleweight Saul Canelo Alvarez. Both fights work for me, considering the options, but Alvarez is a much BIGGER fight, financially, so that doesn't surprise me. Before Manny Pacquiao lost this weekend, Mayweather's team was floating Bradley as an option explicitly because Bradley was the last person to beat (or "beat") Pacquiao and we all know how Mayweather would never piggyback off Pacquiao. But that's no longer true about Bradley. The idea would be to fight Alvarez in May, which means that Golden Boy talking about booking three fights for Mayweather in 2013 was the pump-fake to screw with Top Rank that Top Rank boss Bob Arum said it was.
Super middleweight Carl Froch would rather do a rematch with Mikkel Kessler first, then honor his rematch due to Lucian Bute afterward. I'd rather he do it in that order, too, as Froch-Kessler II is a better fight in every way than Froch-Bute II. Will Bute allow it to go down like that? I don't suppose it would hurt Froch-Bute II much if Kessler knocked off Froch, and might even make the notion of Froch-Bute II more competitive-sounding, since Froch smeared Bute so thoroughly.
I'm starting to think that Ricky Burns really doesn't want to fight Adrien Broner. The suspicion was that Burns fled junior lightweight to avoid Broner, and now that they're in the same weight class at lightweight again he's squirming away some more. The guy had a fight booked for this month, a nothing fight, and when it fell through, he booked another date in January knowing that Broner wanted to fight him Feb. 16 on HBO. It's too bad because as of now, it would be for the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board lineal championship. Instead, there's talk of Broner facing Richard Abril, which would present a different kind of challenge for Broner than he usually meets, i.e. a very clever junkballer of a boxer who could make it hard for Broner to look good. We'd learn something about Broner in that fight, at least. HBO's also trying to do a multi-fight deal with Broner, I'm guessing because Golden Boy and Al Haymon-advised fighters like Broner have largely moved to Showtime and Broner has been solid in the ratings department. The undercard would feature a rematch of Johnathon Banks-Seth Mitchell, a heavyweight bout that Mitchell really shouldn't be exercising his rematch clause for. That wasn't a fluke win or a lucky punch. That was Mitchell having a shaky chin and being inexperienced, and him needing to gain experience and figure out a way to defend said shaky chin better.
We have a pair of rescheduled fights, thanks to a pair of injuries: Super middleweight champ Andre Ward will now fight Kelly Pavlik Feb. 23 on HBO, while Devon Alexander will fight fellow welterweight Kell Brook on Showtime March 2. I could wait forever for Ward-Pavlik, but it's sad about Alexander-Brook being pushed back. I kind of like that one. Lucas Matthysse-Hank Lundy at 140 will remain on the old Alexander-Brook date on Jan. 19. That's a bad fight for Lundy, who's really a lightweight and a vulnerable one, but a fun fight while it lasts and a good enough stay-busy bout for Matthysse.
Two fights I could do without forever pit two Golden Boy fighters around their primes against two guys who ought to be retired, and one of them even was retired. Welterweight Paulie Malignaggi might be fighting Shane Mosley in April in an utter shit fight. Mosley was retired and should've been, because he hasn't won a fight since January of 2009. The other shit fight features middleweight Peter Quillin against a shot Jermain Taylor Feb. 9. I would hope Showtime and HBO would say no to these two fights respectively, because they are both useless and disgusting.
Austin Trout, coming off his big win over Miguel Cotto, is calling out a couple other bigger names in the junior middleweight division, Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland. I'd be interested in either of those, even if Trout would be a strong favorite.
Should Amir Khan win tonight, he'd face Josesito Lopez next, which IS a good Golden Boy-engineered fight. It's not clear to me whether they'd do it at junior welterweight or welterweight. It might be a bad fight for Khan stylistically, though. If new trainer Virgil Hunter improves his defense, then maybe. But Lopez's constant pressure and inability to be hurt much (except for if he's fighting at junior middleweight, of course) are a formula for Khan taking a beating.
In April, Golden Boy (and yes, there are a lot of Golden Boy fighters in this edition — they seem busier right now than Top Rank and some of the rest) is looking at an HBO tripleheader where they would offer real tests to two of their more promising young fighters. Gary Russell, Jr. would face an authentic top-10 featheweight Jhonny Gonzalez in what figures as a nice fight for both men. And welterweight Keith Thurman would face Marcos Maidana in a fight that seemed ridiculous a while back when Thurman hadn't even been on HBO yet, but now sounds like a delicate, sensitive match-up of… JK. That's two big power punchers, right there. Welterweight Andre Berto also would be on the card against somebody.
On March 9, Bernard Hopkins would return to Showtime, against one of the same possible trio of light heavyweights he's long been contemplating, Tavoris Cloud, Beibut Shumenov and Nathan Cleverly, whom I like in that order. Also, recently-showcased on Showtime featherweight Jayson Velez would face Daniel Ponce De Leon, a solid bout.
Ronny Rios-Rico Ramos at featherweight Jan. 11 would kick off ShoBox on the right foot in 2013, after an up-and-down 2012. Rios is a legit prospect and Ramos, for as maligned as his career has become, is still an authentic contender at junior featherweight. This bout would be at 126, though.
Feb. 23, Showtime: Cornelius Bundrage would fight Ishe Smith, the exact opposite of the kind of junior middleweights he's been trying to face, namely big names who would give him lots of money, but kudos to him for taking on a tough opponent. Might be an ugly style clash, though. On the undercard would be Khabib Allakhverdiev-Humberto Soto, with Allakhverdiev coming off the first-ever defeat of Joan Guzman and Soto giving a good account of himself in a losing effort in a junior welterweight bout against Matthysse.
Junior featherweight Carl Frampton still wants Kiko Martinez, despite the fight not happening a couple times already. Now it's slated for Feb. 9. It's the right fight for Frampton's development, I think.
Junior welterweight Brandon Rios is likely to face Mike Alvarado in a sensational rematch in March, but he's also weighed in on other potential opponents. Bradley: no interest, can't sell out his hometown. *Burn of fellow Top Rank/Cameron Dunkin fighter* Danny Garcia: Yes. And he says he'd fight Garcia's dad Angel in the parking lot on the same day. Given Angel's big mouth and racist leanings, I can think of a lot of people who'd love to see Rios-Angel. Also, beating up two generations of Garcias in one day would eclipse Roy Jones, Jr.'s athletic feat of playing a basketball game the same day he won a fight. I love Brandon Rios.
(Round And Round sources: ESPN, BoxingScene, RingTV)