NOW we know that Floyd Mayweather is looking to go out with a whimper not a bang. He has all the money he will ever need and his focus now is on his legacy. In selecting Andre Berto as his next opponent he knows that the fight will not be a huge draw but is a low risk fight to make sure he gets to 49-0. With his ego the achievement of equalling Rocky Marciano’s figure will never be enough. I hear talk of another three-fight contract but I don’t see that. If he gets past Berto-nothing is certain in boxing-will he get away with another “Berto” for No 50? I don’t think so as Mayweather vs. Berto would be no draw without the 49-0 being there as a selling point. The sales figures for the Berto fight may be the factor that drives the 50-0 fight decision and also whether Mayweather will be able to hand-pick another low risk, low attraction fight. Looking past Berto it is tricky. Does Mayweather wait for Pacquiao to get fit again, does he go for return fights with Saul Alvarez or Miguel Cotto, does he give Tim Bradley a chance, could Keith Thurman or Kell Brook get in the mix or the winner of Gennady Golovkin vs. David Lemieux or Amir Khan, who wants the fight so badly whatever he might say. Perhaps the noise I hear in the background is a few million fans praying for a Berto victory. Sweet dreams.
Putting Ramon “Rocky” Martinez vs. Orlando Salido on the undercard will give the show a Puerto Rican vs. Mexican flavour which the main event lacks as a target audience. Martinez lifted Salido’s WBO super feather crown when they fought in April so there is a revenge element in there.
Manny Pacquiao’s tax problems have not disappeared. The Commissioner of the Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said recently that they will continue 70 pursue Pacquiao for the P3.2-billion (not sure if I got the decimal place right but it came out at nearly $70 million). The Philippines Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order stopping the Court of Tax Appeal from imposing on Pacquiao a surety bond of R4.9 million or a cash bond of P3.9 billion. The posting of the bond was a prerequisite for lifting a seizure warrant on Pacquiao’s bank deposits. I don’t suppose they would agree to go 12 rounds double or quits with you Manny even with your injured shoulder.
The recent kite flying over Deontay Wilder’s WBC title defence is horrifying. The names being bandied about are Hughie Fury, Kyotaro Fujimoto and Andrej Wawrzyk. Fury is a promising but still very raw novice who has not fought anyone of standing but has met the right sort of opposition for someone of his level of experience. Right now he is rated No. 33 by the WBC so in theory that means the fight can’t be for the WBC title unless the WBC manipulate their ratings and give him a huge promotion for beating 41-year-old George Arias. It appears that Fury’s team are being sensible and saying that they would not have enough time to train properly for the September 26 fight but I am sure there must be among the 32 fighters above Fury being by-passed who would like to have been asked. Japanese champion Fujimoto as an opponent is a joke, but not a funny one. He is eligible being No. 14-now. He is 12-1 with his loss being a stoppage by Solomon Haumona in 2012, and in his next fight Haumona was knocked out by Kevin Johnson. In his last fight in April Fujimoto only just scraped by Nobuhiro Ishida on a split decision. That’s the Ishida who weighed 158 ½ lbs when being knocked out in three rounds by Gennady Golovkin in 2013 and was almost 50lbs heavier when he fought Fujimoto. Just to have Fujimoto and Wilder stand next to each other would kill this one as Wilder stands 6’ 7” and Fujimoto 6’0” . Let’s hope that fades away. Wawrzyk was in the WBC ratings at No 31 after wins over Danny Williams and Frans Botha (wow!) but he was dropped for 16 months of inactivity and only returned to action last month with a win over a guy with a 3-14 record. A bit difficult to put him from nowhere to the top 15 on that basis but with sanction fees all is possible. Wilder had his pick and chose Eric Molina now he should be told to pick a credible opponent and not embarrass the WBC because if the choice is to be one of these three opponents then the WBC will either have to openly manipulate their ratings and lose what credibility having a good ratings team gives them or fit Fujimoto with skyscraper stilettos and hope no one notices.
It seems to be the time for throwing out names. For Jorge Linares’s opponent in Caracas on 17 October Rod Salka, Ivan Cano and Franklin Mamani are being mentioned. Mamani and Cano are in the WBC top 15 lightweights but Salka is down at No. 27 super-feather. After that the WBC may insist that Linares face his mandatory challenger Dejan Zlaticanin.
For Roman Gonzalez on 17 October in New York the list is Brian Viloria, Giovani Segura and McWilliams Arroyo and any of these would be a good fight.
Can’t say I am enthused by Adonis Stevenson’s 11 September defence against Tommy Karpency. His win over Chad Dawson has given Karpency the right to be there but he lost every round against Nathan Cleverly and was well beaten by Andrzej Fonfara. For Stevenson it gives him a legitimate challenger but he is falling behind Sergey Kovalev who is now generally recognised as the top dog at light heavy and the only way for Stevenson to change that is to fight and beat Kovalev-if he can. Good fight on the undercard sees Errol Spence (17-0) facing South African Chris Van Heerden (23-1-1).
If you are interested in money then you might like to know that Kovalev’s purse for the Nadjib Mohammedi fight was $750,000 and Mohammedi’s was $250,000. So $1 million, Mayweather had already been earned more than that before the referee finished giving his pre-fight instructions in the Pacquiao fight.
German boxer Enrico Koelling looked flat in losing his unbeaten record against Italian Mirco Ricci in February. He returned with two wins but again lacked the energy that brought him 16 wins in a row before the Ricci loss. He recently spent three days in an intensive care ward in a hospital in Berlin and that revealed that he was diabetic. He intends to continue his career and one of the first to send him best wishes was Ricci.
Omar Narvaez has been missing from the ring for a while but the former WBO fly and super fly champion has not retired. He is aiming to return to the ring on 18 September against Argentinian-based Dominican Republic fighter Dario Luis Pichardo. Narvaez was helping in the corner of Soledad Matthysse when she won the WBA and WBC female titles at featherweight last week. She is the sister of Lucas and the now retired Walter. Not a family to pick a fight with.
I am sure Frank Buglioni is already fired up for his challenge to Fedor Chudinov for the WBA interim title but he will be even more determined when he hears that Chudinov’s people are already negotiating with Team Sauerland for Chudinov to put his title on the line against Vincent Feigenbutz-after he beats Buglioni. That should be if-not after.
Boxing seems to be picking up in South Korea. They have had a number of shows there this year and so far they have been a success. Fighters being lured there for a planned show include Randall Bailey and Cuban Robert Alfonso. The promoter has also signed Pakistani Muhammad Waseem as a pro. He won both bronze and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the Asian Games at 49kg. In his first bout on 4 October he is to fight for the Korean title.
So Shane Mosley Jr tested positive for a banned substance and is under suspension with the Nevada State Commission. It brings to mind his father’s problems with allegations of Shane Snr. using steroids and EPO and for clarification on that you could go to You Tube and watch Shane admitting to taking steroids and EPO treatment from BALCO. Mosley always said he did not know these were banned substances but a $12 million defamation case Mosley started against the CEO of BALCO was “voluntarily dismissed with prejudice and without costs, disbursements or attorney’s fees to any party against another,” Read into that what you will.
IBF No. 1 heavyweight Vyacheslav Glazkov keeps busy with a fight in Krasnodar on 15 August against Kertson Manswell. Wins over Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham have seen him rise to No. 1 making him the IBF mandatory so he is waiting for the winner of Wlad Klitschko and Tyson Fury.
A big shows is being planned for Moscow on 4 November with Alex Povetkin (you remember him don’t you Deontay) Denis Lebedev, Rakhim Chakhkiev and Dmitry Kudryashov all down to appear against the all-encompassing “TBA”.
There has been a lot in the newspapers about drug testing with German sources playing a part in uncovering what are alleged to have been very suspicious test results given by top athletes and not acted upon. On a much smaller scale there has been a testing case running for a few months now in boxing in Germany. After a fight for the IBF Mediterranean title it was revealed that there had been no testing by the National Anti Doping Agency (NADA). In itself that was not a problem as it is not compulsory under the rules of the overseeing body the GBA. However it became a problem when in response to this query over testing the promoter of the fight produced an NADA document covering the post fight testing. The only problem was that it was NADA headed paper but not an NADA report at all. The promoter said that the testing had been done by a laboratory but the results had been put onto a NADA document template from the internet. The NADA are far from happy and it rumbles on but just shows what a mess testing is in some areas.
Zimbabwean fighter Charles Manyuchi was subjected to a right hand not knowing what the left hand was doing when he went back to Harare last week. Manyuchi was fresh from an outstanding victory when he retained his WBC International welter title with a win over Italian Gianluca Frezza in Italy. His trophy for the fight was confiscated at the airport whilst crowds were waiting outside to cheer him. It all ended well with Manyuchi getting his trophy back and President Mugabe personally congratulating him. Must be one or two guys at the airport waiting for the axe to fall after that stupidity.
Still on Africa Boxing South Africa (BSA) finally got around to sacking their suspended CEO. A disciplinary tribunal had recommended he be sacked after they found him guilty on 10 out of 14 charges five of them involving “gross dishonesty”. For the past two years he has reportedly been getting paid approx 1,000,000 rand per month that’s about $7,500 per month for two years out of the pockets of the South African taxpayers and he was also paid bonuses for those two years! There will be quite a number of changes as the Chief Financial Officer was dismissed and the director of operations resigned before his disciplinary hearing. In typical government reasoning the man ultimately responsible for appointing these people will get no blame whatsoever for his own incompetence in letting this happen under his stewardship and will probably have the final say on the new appointees and god forbid that anyone with any knowledge of how the boxing world operates should get selected that would be totally against policy. And this is the organisation that says they are the ones to control broadcasting rights for South African boxing.
Boxing does continue down there and as in many parts of the world there is a “brotherhood” in the sport. A recent example was Rodney Berman’s gesture at his show at the weekend. Light flyweight Thabo Moabi lost in five rounds to DeeJay Kriel and his record dropped to 3-5-1. When Berman learned that Moabi works as a shelf packer for a low wage and trains in an open field because there is no gym around that he can use he added an additional 2000 Rand to his purse and made a donation of 10,000 rand towards a gym.
In other South African news former Floyd Mayweather victim Phillip Ndou is getting back into action. The 38-year-old former South African feather, WBC International and WBU super feather champion lost on a seventh round stoppage to Mayweather for the WBO light title in 2003 and lost to fellow South African Lovemore Ndou for the IBO welter title in 2009. His last fight was in 2013 and this fight will be the first in his birthplace of Thohoyandou.
Ndou fought from feather to welter so he put on a bit of weight as a pro but nothing compared to South Africa Vusumzi Mlindwa. He turned pro in 2008 weighing 145lbs and when he lost to Danie Venter on 29 July he was 231lbs. That’s a whopping 86lbs more and as he had not grown any taller it must have all gone to his waist. The word fat does not even begin to describe it.
There will a few matchmakers in Britain sorry to hear the Pole Krzysztof Szot has announced his retirement. Szot was a fill-in favourite coming over to face British young hopefuls and had just the sort of record a matchmaker looks for 1-8 in nine visits to Britain and always went the distance. Don’t despair there are plenty of Georgian’s Latvian’s, Hungarians Slovenians, Slovakians and even other Poles to fill the losers corner.
Vijender Singh’s signing pro forms with Queensbury Promotions has not gone down too well in some part of India. He was training to become a member of the Haryana Police (HP) and therefore an employee of that force. The HP are stating that Singh is a government employee and cannot accept another employment or remuneration from any other source without the government’s permission. Hopefully it will all be sorted out amicably as Vijender was an outstanding amateur and could stir interest in professional boxing in India.
Antonio Margarito is back in training and intends to fight again. He has said that he has had some good quality time with his two children and is ready to return to action. He has not fought since losing to Miguel Cotto in 2011. After the plaster casts in his gloves episode he is lucky to be allowed in any ring.
Back in 2012 Tor Hamer was making waves and after winning the Prizefighter Tournament and beating Kevin Johnson looked a reasonable heavyweight prospect. Losses to Vyacheslav and Andy Ruiz dented those hopes and his last fight, the loss to Ruiz, was in 2013. Late last month Hamer was arrested by police in New Jersey and allegedly he had in his vehicle 7.5lbs of marijuana. He is also being charged with resisting arrest by trying to run away.
Sad news from Denmark reported the death by suicide of former pro Anders Huggers. The Dane was a top level amateur a four-time Danish champion who competed at both the World and European Championships before turning pro. He ran up 11 wins but then was forced to retire due to an eye injury. He was just 34. RIP Anders.