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Quick Jabs: Cotto Vs. Martinez Pay-Per-View Numbers; The Golden Boy Legal Action; More

If you’re looking for a classy place to sign a contract with Al Haymon, one resplendent with gravitas, why not McDonalds? Lightweight Miguel Vazquez making the Haymon move means we can almost surely forget about starting a new championship lineage by fighting Terence Crawford, since Crawford is represented by Top Rank, which despises Haymon. It’s another odd move for a fighter who didn’t seem to be poorly represented at all — Vazquez had been fighting under the Top Rank banner via Top Rank partner Zanfer, and had consistently gotten TV bouts despite the fact that no one wanted him on their TV.

Crawford should do OK anyway. He was excellent against Yuriorkis Gamboa Saturday on HBO, who himself outpaced my expectations. His combination of talent and demeanor — he’s steely as hell — means he’s someone we could be watching as a potential elite boxer for some time. The 11,000ish people who showed up to watch him fight in Omaha, Neb. means he’ll have a strong home base to work from, putting together a stronger gate figure than any continental U.S.-born fighter outside of Floyd Mayweather in a long time, although there’s a chance the numbers could dip for future showings if the novelty diminishes. That said, there are some limitations on what kind of star he can be; it wasn’t so long ago he was wearing the “boring” label, not that he deserved it, and his personality is only appealing insofar as it’s humble and low-key.

As for Gamboa: He’s just not a lightweight. It’s great that he was able to wobble Crawford and that he was as competitive as he was shows what a talent he is. Maybe there’s bigger money at 135 and above, but if he’s to consistently win, he’ll need to move down to featherweight, or at least junior lightweight.

Now to the rest of the Quick Jabs, on the subjects in the headline as well as Adrien Broner, Wladimir Klitschko and a bunch of other boxers.

Quick Jabs

The pay-per-view figures for HBO’s Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez headliner are in, and they are lower than many expected — about 350,000. Top Rank’s Bob Arum noted, probably correctly, that a glut of PPVs surely cut into Cotto-Martinez sales. So what does he say in the next sentence? That Cotto’s next fight will be on PPV, possibly against Timothy Bradley. Boxing is SO fucked up. Meanwhile, the recent Showtime tripleheader didn’t do especially impressive numbers. It did about what you might expect, really. Hardcores were excited by Vasyl Lomachenko-Gary Russell, Jr., but the biggest name on the card, Robert Guerrero, was in a bout that looked to be a rust-shaking showcase (even if it didn’t turn out that way)…

Golden Boy has filed a $50 million case against its former chief executive, Richard Schaefer, probably over claims that he failed in his fiduciary duty by not getting Haymon-advised fighters signed to contracts. (This is about like we saw coming, so far — Bruce Binkow also recently left the company.) No idea whether there’s much legal merit to it, but it ensures that the Civil War on top of the Cold War is going to render the sport a battleground in the courtroom and everywhere else but the ring for a while. We’ll have to take our pleasures in unexpected places, or in bouts off HBO or Showtime — Guerrero-Yoshihiro Kamegai and Lucas Matthysse-John Molina, two Fight of the Year candidates that weren’t expected to be terribly competitive by most; Crawford-Gamboa, a bout few expected to deliver that kind of action; or the likely-untelevised Akira Yaegashi-Roman Gonzalez

It’s been a while since we heard of the split between trainer Robert Garcia’s camp and strength and conditioning guy Alex Ariza, and there’s not been a single peep of explanation since. I’m putting my money on “Ariza was a dick,” somehow, although “Garcia thought Ariza was up to some kind of no good that he either disapproved of or thought would blow back on him”…

Heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko recently responded to a suggestion from upcoming opponent Kubrat Pulev that he undergo advanced drug testing with, “If you don’t want to fight, you can stay home.” Klitschko’s response was too cavalier, and like every fighter, he ought to embrace advanced drug testing. But Pulev made the mistake others have, which is to ask for advanced testing after terms have been agreed to already. It’s the wrong moment, and can look insincere as a result…

50 Cent believes that Floyd Mayweather is dumb — which is pretty true, and I’ll also put my money on “poor Mayweather post-retirement,” even if he has a certain intelligence in the ring and about self-promotion — and that fighters don’t have the kind of energy they once did. Gee, does somebody endorse vitamin water that might cure that? Fitty apparently didn’t stick around to consort with his prized promotional charge, Gamboa, after the fight Saturday, so maybe he’s not such a brainiac himself…

The ESPYs are weird. Why would super middleweight champion Andre Ward be nominated for best fighter when he’s had just one fight against a decent contender in a really long time?…

Evander Holyfield is probably retired for good, as he should be. I have a ton of warm memories of Holyfield fights. He’s the best cruiserweight ever, and his bouts with Mike Tyson, George Foreman and especially Riddick Bowe stand out at heavyweight. There’s some sordid business mixed in with those warm memories, unfortunately, but on the whole there was more to like with Holyfield. For an excellent remembrance, check out Iron Mike Gallego

Ruslan Provodnikov’s trainer Freddie Roach was bitching about the judges giving a hometown decision to Chris Algieri in their recent HBO junior welterweight bout, and Teddy Atlas on Friday Night Fights also was talking “robbery” talk. Both men are wrong. It was no robbery, because a wide range of scores were viable; and it wasn’t just hometown judges who scored it for Algieri, as plenty of fans and writers did, too…

Super middleweight Carl Froch is still bitter about all the things George Groves said about him. With all the trash that boxers talk about one another, it’s rare to see a boxer get stuck under another boxer’s skin so thoroughly…

Adrien Broner got away with a warning from the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his remarks about Mexicans, and crashed his scooter, har har har….

Speaking of Atlas, here he is talking about the Transnational Boxing Rankings on FNF with ESPN’s Joe Tessitore. Speaking of FNF, here’s a boxer punching himself in the face during the most recent edition.

http://youtu.be/372p5GahFmc

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C., where he is a staff writer for CQ Roll Call.

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