YOU have to wonder how Chris Algieri feels when he sees so much speculation over a Manny Pacquiao vs.Floyd Mayweather fight. I guess it can only make him more determined to win on Saturday night although the quoted odds against him are either 8/1 or 9/1 depending on how charitable your bookie is (How about that? I managed to work in the words charitable and bookie into the same sentence). However it does looks as though there is a ground swell of support for somehow getting the deal done to make the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather fight happen. The latest person to get involved is the very influential Leslie Moonves who is CEO and President of CBS-who own Showtime. He is said to be getting personally involved in trying to get the parties together and make it happen. There is also talk of Pacquiao having been offered $40 million plus a % of the gate to fight Mayweather next year. Of course it also needs HBO to buy into the deal and there are also other interested parties involved such as Bob Arum and Al Haymon so lots of big feet to fit under the same table. And that’s without taking Pacman and Money into account as they will have to be happy with the money and let’s not even start thinking about drug testing.
Newspapers in the Philippines will be worried about the outcome of this weekend’s fight. If Pacquiao loses and retires, 90 per cent of the content of their sports pages will suddenly be blank. Imagine as a reporter you have to go from Pacquiao in Macau to the Manila Schools snakes and ladders ladies finals. No expenses paid for that jaunt guys.
It was not a good week for Mayweather. There were rumours of him paying strippers $3,000 to strip in his room for some sort of TV thing and the USA Today did an in depth article with his former girlfriend giving details of the beatings she received at Mayweather’s hands and to top it all for his self esteem there are even suggestions that the viewing figures for his fights have been falling. He needs a better publicity agent – or a brain.
Wlad Klitschko is a man of many talents. My hope is that he is preparing for a career as a stand-up comedian. He actually countenanced a fight with Shannon Briggs! Please let it be a joke, because Briggs challenges and his qualifications most certainly are. Worry that he might be serious has seen both James Toney and Manuel Charr challenge Briggs but the last thing Briggs is going to do is face a real opponent – okay, Toney a real opponent! That’s stretching things. More encouraging was Wlad talking about a unification bout with the winner of the fight on January 17 at the MGM Grand between Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder with WBC chief Mauricio Sulaiman supporting the idea. I guess that puts Bryant Jennings in the “Algieri’s” position as he is currently WBC No 2 so should be next in line but instead hears all these conversations going on around him. My wish is to see the winner of Stiverne vs. Wilder fighting Klitschko for the unified title (only temporary as it would impact of the sanctioning fees so will have to quickly be fractured again) and Briggs and Toney fighting for the WBA interim/regular title – that should tell you how I feel about the WBA – somewhere in the middle of the Pacific ocean, okay I will be a bit kinder, on an Island in the middle of the Pacific ocean where there is no TV and ships only call once a year. That should just about be far enough away. I don’t think there is any truth in the rumor that Briggs’ opponents have been so bad that Wilder is threatening to sue Briggs for plagiarism.
The current situation between Russian and the Ukraine occasionally seeps its way into boxing and Russian web sites were less than enthusiastic over Klitscko’s win. One prominent Russian promoter suggested that the Hamburg police should examine Klitschko’s gloves to make sure they met safety standards. Another site had a Russian web site pointing out that whilst HBO were said to be happy with the viewing figures,where 620,000 watched the Klitschko vs. Pulev fight live on the East Coast and 400,000 watched the delayed tape later on the West Coast, a UFC show pulled in 2,000,000 on Fox – so there! Childish really.
I still find it incredible that Klitschko drew 14,000 for a live gate. With that and TV in Europe he does not really need the USA market.
It was a very bad week for Jermain Taylor. The IBF middleweight champion has now been formally charged in relation to a shooting at his house in August. The charges allege 1st degree battery and 1st degree terroristic threatening relating to shots fired at his cousin. Despite the possible charges Taylor was allowed to go through with his fight against Sam Soliman but now things have been formalised and if found guilty his career will be over and most of the rest of his life.
It has also been a bad period for Haitian-born Canadian Dierry Jean. The team of the former IBF light welterweight title challenger noticed some behavioral troubles which were eventually revealed to be an alcohol dependency. He is now getting treatment and with his team’s full support and him having taken that important step of recognising he had a problem hopefully it is yet another fight he will win.
Nonito Donaire is going to fight again. There was some doubt after the brutal kayo of the Filipino star by Nicholas Walters but now he is programmed to return in Manila in March.
I see where Mike Tyson has said he would like to play Othello in a film adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. If I was playing Roderigo or Iago I am not too sure how safe I would feel in describing Othello/Tyson as “the Moor”, “the thick lips” , “an old black ram” or “a Barbary horse”, but good on yah Mike, go for it.
Looks like Fres Oquendo is on his way to court. The Puerto Rican “Big O” is alleging he has not been paid the $1 million he is due from his fight for the vacant secondary WBA title with Ruslan Chagaev in Grozny, Russia. Having exhausted all other avenues Oquendo is now going to see if the courts can help him.
Chagaev is due to fight in Moscow on November 28 against Brazilian Hamilton Ventura in what I assume/hope is a non-title fight. On the same show Dmitry Kudryashov fights Cuban veteran Juan Carlos Gomez.
It may not seem possible but I did miss a result from my round-up. Down in Brazil Olympic bronze medal winner Yamaguchi Falcao gained revenge over the guy who ruined his pro debut. Falcao scored a points win over Argentinian Martin Rios. When they fought in January Rios was like a mad man committing foul after foul and wrestling continually. Finally the referee lost his patience and just disqualified them both which was harsh on Falcao. The 26-year-old southpaw now has three wins to go with the no-decision from that fight. On the same show Brazilian light middle prospect Patrick Teixeira kayoed Argentinian Ulyses Lopez in two rounds. The tall 23-year-old is 24-0 with 20 wins by KO/TKO including five wins in a row in fights in Mexico and the USA so he could be worth noting.
Jack Culcay will not be defending his EBU light middle title against Ruben Varon in Oldenburg on 6 December. Varon has had to pull so he has been replaced by Frenchman Karim Merroudi. The EBU have parachuted Merroudi into the ratings to save the show. He has won his last four fights and is French No 1 but not deserving of a rating previously but the show must go on.
Another fight scrapped is Lucien Bute’s fight with Roberto Bolonti. Bute suffered a back injury. The Montreal show on 6 December will still go ahead with Jean Pascal vs. Donovan George on top.
In addition Chris Arreola has problems with an ongoing elbow injury and he has withdrawn from a proposed fight on 11 December in Temecula.
It looks as though Guillermo Rigondeaux has finally found someone to fight. The classy Cuban is said to be going to fight Hishashi Amagasa in Tokyo on December 31. Although the Japanese fighter is only rated by the WBO at featherweight and not by the WBA (yet) I assume if this come off it will be a title fight.
With the much anticipated Nat Cleverly vs. Tony Bellew fight going on this weekend the WBO say the plan is for the winner to fight the winner of the late January fight in Poland between Krzys Glowacki and Nuri Seferi with the winner of that then going on to challenge Marco Huck. Sounds like a plan but in boxing things rarely go to plan.
The lightweight division could soon have a vacant title as Terrence Crawford has confirmed that his title defence against Ray Beltran will be his last at lightweight and he will be moving up to light welter. If he does not lose to Beltran and does go up then look for Juan Diaz to get a shot at the vacant title as he is currently No 3. Britain’s Anthony Crolla is No. 4 but he is lined up to face WBA champion Richar Abril
Ronald Hearns is making another attempt to succeed as a boxer. The son of the great Tommy is fighting on December 12 in Chicago. At this time the opponents is the dreaded TBA. First fight for Ronald since losing four fights in a row with the last being against Eric Hunter in January. Now 35 Ronald is unlikely to get any better but you can’t stop a guy from trying. In fairness Ronald came into the pro ranks after only a handful of amateur fights and a bit later than he would have wanted as Tommy insisted he finish his studies first. He won’t be the only son of the father on the show as Thomas “Top Dog” Williams tries to rebuild after his crushing loss to Gabriel Campillo in August. His dad Thomas “Top Dawg” was also a pro who fought Obed Sullivan, Jessie Ferguson, an ageing Iran Barkley, John Ruiz and others. “Dog”-“Dawg” !! Easy dad lived in South Carolina so for him it was “Dawg”. Unbeaten prospects Jordan Shimmell and Robert Easter are also on the show.
Mexican Sergio Thompson is getting another try at a title. He faces interim WBA feather champion Bryan Vasquez in Cancun on December 20. Thompson lost on points to Takashi Miura for the WBC super feather title in Cancun in August last year but has been fighting at lightweight since then. Costa Rican Vasquez lost to Takashi Uchiyama for the WBA super feather title in 2012 and has defended his WBA title once with a good win over Jose Felix Jr (26-0-1). A good even fight on paper.
Finally Mickey Rourke is back. The Oscar winning film star will fight again on November 28 in Moscow. His opponent is Eliot Seymour who has an eminently acceptable record of 1-9 all in four round fights and having lost his last 8 fights but gone the full four rounds in seven off them. Rourke is now 62, so hopefully he can go four rounds, and then retire again!
Read Eric Armit’s weekly round-up
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