Green River and TQBR are in agreement: It's dry as a bone out there and will be for a few more weeks. There are some good scattered bouts floating around — I'm heading to Atlantic City next weekend for the middleweight clash between Daniel Geale and Darren Barker, to be aired on HBO, and it's a solid fight — but mostly August is barren. Fortunately, things will be picking up very shortly. Besides the subjects in the headline, we have fights in the works for Gennady Golovkin, Terence Crawford, Leo Santa Cruz and others to discuss.
Round And Round
The bouts surrounding the Sept. 14 Showtime pay-per-view headlined by the junior welterweight championship bout between Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez have taken full shape. We already knew about the A+ undercard bout for the junior welterweight championship between Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia; now they've added another 154-pound bout, between contenders Carlos Molina and Ishe Smith, and a welterweight bout between Pablo Cesar Cano and Ashley Theophane. Molina-Smith is a worthwhile fight, if an unappealing style match-up, and thus it makes sense to pair it with a more dynamic couple fights here. Cano-Theophane — I guess we can hope it produces action, because those are two fringe contenders at best. Theophane, Cano and Smith being promoted by Mayweather explains why they're here, more than anything.
On the night before that, as a warm-up, we'll be getting a quality tripleheader on Fox Sports: The rematch of the disputed draw between welterweights Shawn Porter and Julio Diaz, super middleweight prospect Badou Jack against Marco Antonio Periban coming off a strong showing in a loss to Sakio Bika, and junior middleweight prospects Hugo Centeno, Jr. and Julian Williams squaring off. Well then. That should be a big, big weekend of excellent boxing.
Rumor has it Adrien Broner could be making his PPV debut on Showtime against Marcos Maidana in November. It's something they've been talking about at Golden Boy for a while, Broner moving to PPV, and if it's going to happen in a period from September to November where there are already three major PPVs on tap — ugh — I'd rather it be against Maidana than someone else. I, however, seem to be in the minority in liking Maidana's chances. Paulie Malignaggi exposed Broner's holes at welterweight, and while Malignaggi and Maidana are 100 percent different fighters, Maidana has gotten slightly more sophisticated over the last year or so and he has something Malignaggi doesn't — the ability to test Broner's chin at 147. Broner tortured Antonio DeMarco at 135, and DeMarco and Maidana are more alike than Maidana and Malignaggi, but if Broner is as stationary against Maidana as he was against Malignaggi, he will get hit and he will feel it. Plus, Maidana is going to throw more than DeMarco, whose punch volume has always been too low. Whether Broner-Maidana does good business, though, depends on its undercard — no word on that yet — and whether it will be going head to head with a non-PPV HBO card.
Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.'s return on HBO in September now has an undercard. Not sure which of these bouts would be televised, but the word there is that Chavez-Bryan Vera (168) would be supported by Matt Korobov-Grady Brewer (160), Kareem Mayfild-Pavel Miranda (140), Oscar Valdez-Giorgi Mtchedlishvili (126) and Diego Magdaleno-Ed Riovalle (130).
How's this for a nice addition to November: Keith Thurman could face Robert Guerrero at welterweight. That is a sweet match-up of up-and-comer vs. established veteran. On paper Thurman would seem to have to edge with his natural size and power, but Guerrero is a hard-nosed fighter with underrated skill. Let's see if he's hard-nosed enough to accept the bout, which would air on Showtime.
There was a report that middleweight Curtis Stevens had turned down $300,000 to face Gennady Golovkin on HBO in the bout pretty much everyone right now wants for Golovkin. But Stevens and Main Events haven't said they won't fight Golovkin. I'm taking this all as negotiating tactics rather than any sign the bout will or won't happen, although I wouldn't be surprised if Main Events is less interested in the fight than Stevens. And Stevens will look bad if it doesn't happen, after saying he wanted it.
The light heavyweight bout between Bernard Hopkins and Karo Murat has moved to October, and it looks like the Showtime main event could be picking up an undercard bout that's more interesting than the main event: super middleweights Sakio Bika and Anthony Dirrell meeting up. That would be the "shit or get off the pot" bout I've been wanting for Anthony.
Top Rank is looking at matching lightweight Terence Crawford against the winner of Ricky Burns-Raymundo Beltran, and Burns' promoter has talked about a Crawford fight before, too, so I think it could happen. And I'd like to see it. I enjoy that whole trio of fighters.
Welterweight Luis Carlos Abregu could be back in action in October, against either Wale Omotoso or Brad Solomon, both acceptable to me. It's not clear which Top Rank/HBO October card he'd be on yet. It'll just be good to have Abregu back.
Leo Santa Cruz could face Rafael Marquez soon, which would be disappointing what with the way Golden Boy has been acting like a Santa Cruz meeting at 126 with Abner Mares is just around the corner. They're appearing on the same Showtime card later this month and that might have led you to believe they'd be in against each other next.