October 2, 2015
October 2, 2015
007_Floyd_Mayweather

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FROM my observations it seems to be 70/30 and 30/70 where Floyd Mayweather Jnr is concerned. A majority of 70% don’t, believe him when he says he will not fight again and 30% believe he is sincere. It seems that 30% want to see him fight again and 70% say his day is past let’s move on. Figures indicate that his fight with Andre Berto was not a financial success and may even have been a loser for Showtime, a reflection of his choice of Berto as an opponent.

The will he or won’t he uncertainty poses a problem for both the WBC and WBA. Despite Mayweather’s announcement of his retirement both bodies still show him as their welter and super welter champion. It will be interesting to see if they change that in their next set of ratings. In view of his announcement they should take him out leading to some nice sanctioning fees for the fights for the vacant titles. The problem will come if Mayweather returns and immediately wants to fight for the title. In theory the champion should get the big end of the purse but for the Berto fight Mayweather took down just over $35 million and Berto $4.5 million. I can’t see Mayweather agreeing to anywhere near the split the rules of those two bodies lay down for a champion defending his title so you can be sure that the “champion” will get shafted-if Mayweather returns.

It seems that viewer figures for Deontay Wilder’s defence against Johann Duhaupas were not as good as hoped but that was mainly due to the low profile of Duhaupas. The WBC has said that Wilder must now defend against Alex Povetkin but the first signs of wriggling out of that are already apparent. The reasoning is that Showtime wants Wilder to feature again in December or January but Povetkin fights Mariusz Wach on 4 November and won’t be ready to fight in December or January so that leaves Wilder time for another voluntary defence. It again will be interesting to see whether the WBC sticks to its guns or goes down under the weight of an additional sanctioning fee.

Duhaupas did not make a big deal of it but by Wilder’s delaying his choice of opponent for so long it left the Frenchman with much less time than he really needed to prepare for such a big match. However he is looked upon a hero back home for his brave effort. I always thought that was only a British trait but we have been winning so often lately we are losing the brave loser tag-thankfully

It looks as though there is a good chance the Manny Pacquiao vs. Amir Khan is close to being firmed up. A good fight for Pacquiao and a great one for Khan. To some extent it will depend on how soon Pacquiao is fit to fight. Khan’s last fight was in May and it could be the middle of next year before Pacquiao is ready which mean a year without a fight for Khan which would not be the best preparation. On the other hand the May fight with Mayweather was Pacquiao’s last fight so that evens things out.

Pacquiao was recently rated No 8! No not by the WBA but by voters in the Philippines. There are 12 seats in their Senate coming vacant and a selection of voters were given the names of 500 possible candidates and asked to vote who they though should get the seats and Pacquiao came eighth on the list. If that happens it will be one more step on the way to becoming President which is Pacquiao’s aim.

There has been a suggestion from Freddie Roach that the best opponent for Pacquiao when he recovers would be yet another match with Juan Manuel Marquez but Marquez is having his farewell fight in December against Carlos Molina.

Former IBF welter champion Jan Zavek is fighting on. The 39-year-old Slovenian will defend his WBFederation title against Argentinian Hector David Saldivia in Maribor, Slovenia, on 14 November. Zavek is 35-3 with two of the losses being to Andre Berto and Keith Thurman.

Cruiserweight action will see Denis Lebedev defending his WBA title against Lateef Kayode in Moscow on 4 November and at light heavy an interesting match is being negotiated between Swede Erik Skoglund the IBF No 4(3) and South African Ryno Liebenberg in December but it is not yet settled.

Great little local battle in Belfast on 20 November will see two outstanding unbeaten prospects Conrad Cummings and Alfredo Meli clashing for the vacant BBB of C Celtic middleweight title. It is advertised as “All on the Line” and there will be fireworks. It is great to see how boxing is flourishing over there with a show in Belfast on 17 October and Jamie Conlan topping a show in Dublin on 17 October.

So Tyson Fury wants to run for Parliament. Good luck to him there is no harm in being ambitious. However after his Batman performance at the recent press conference I could imagine Wlad Klitschko checking whether the Monster Raving Loony Party (yes there was such a political party) founded by the late pop singer Screaming Lord Sutch had somehow been resurrected.

A Filipino invasion of California is under way. WBO light fly champion Donnie Nietes is set to defend his title in the StubHub Centre in Carson on 17 October against Mexican champion and WBO No 8 Juan Alejo. It will not be the first visit to the States for Nietes but the first time he has gone there for a fight so the need for a different visa has delayed his arrival in California. Also on the Carson show will be the Pagara brothers Jason and Albert and it is the first promoting venture in to the USA for the outstanding ALA group.

Back in the Philippines hard-punching prospect Aston Palicte looks one to keep an eye on. The 24-year-old super fly has not yet really been tested or broken into the world ratings despite his record being 19-1 with 17 wins by KO/TKO. He meets Thai Wisnalek for the vacant WBO Oriental title in Manila on 14 November.

Russell Peltz is celebrating 46 years as a promoter. The Hall of Fame promoter played a huge part in building the image of Philadelphia as a boxing city. Over the years he has staged great shows featuring great fights. His shows at the Blue Horizon live in memory for the ferocious wars staged there and I was honoured to be in Canastota when he was inaugurated into the Hall of Fame. In his inauguration speech in very self-depreciating fashion he wondered why he qualified recounting how he decided he had enough good middleweights and didn’t need this guy from Brockton who had lost on his shows to Bobby Watts and Willie Monroe-and tuned down Marvin Hagler! We are allowed one mistake Russell and thanks for all you have done for boxing to date and may you have many more successful years in the sport.

Nice to see Vitali Klitschko get an award. He was given an award for the way he has helped and inspired youngsters being labelled a “Shining Light in Sport”. The award was made by the President of the European Parliament which of course strongly supports the government in Kiev in its current struggles against attempts to divide the country.

A modicum of politics also in Caracas where Jorge Linares defends his WBC light title against Ivan Cano on 10 October. There is a heavy Russian presence in the promotion. Top Russian promoter Vlad Hyrunov is involved with boxers Alex Ustinov and Sergey Khomitsky in bouts. Russian energy giant Rosnet is the main sponsor with a lot of stress in the publicity over friendship with Venezuela being part of Russia’s foreign policy. So a bit of politics in there. The show will be in the El Polidero stadium where in 1974 George Forman knocked Ken Norton out in two rounds in defence of his WBA and WBC titles. Geroge has been invited along as a guest. Roy Jones is also in Caracas opening a gym named in his honour.

Following his win over Przemy Saleta at the weekend Tomasz Adamek is now looking to fight Krzys Wlodarczyk. It would be a big fight for Poland but Adamek is a full blown heavyweight now not having weighed below 200lbs since 2009 and Wlodarczyk is a cruiser who has only once weighed over 200lbs and that was when he was 202lbs also in 2009 so fixing a catch weight might be too big an obstacle.

Joey DeGuardia has made a smart move in signing up Australian Zac Dunn for his STAR Boxing group. The 24-year-old unbeaten IBO super middle champion from Melbourne is one of the best prospects in Australia and will be looking to raise his profile in the States. His only rating by the big four is No 10 in the WBC but he has the talent to be fighting for one of their titles in 2016.

Another good signing has seen Eye of the Tiger Management sign former top Canadian amateur Simon Kean. The 26-year-old 6’4” heavyweight was Canadian champion and a quarter finalist in the 2012 Olympics so has good credentials.

It was so tragic to read of the death of former IBF feather champion Billy Dib’s wife Selim Sara at just 21-years-of age. Selim Sara was diagnosed with leukaemia only eight weeks ago. They had their marriage planned but brought the date forward and married in a civil ceremony two weeks after they received that terrible diagnosis. Such a tragedy and I send Billy and Selim Sara’s family my deepest sympathy.

Why do they do it? Ghanaian Ben Tackie returns on 10 October as a late stand in against Mexican Ramon Alvarez. Jorge Paez was to have been Alvarez’s opponent but he pulled out with an injury. Tackie is 42 and has had only one fight in over 5 years. James Toney fights against Eric Martel Bahoeli in Ottawa on 13 November. Toney is 47, has lost two in a row against modest opposition in Jason Gavern and Charles Ellis and last time out weighed about 70lbs over what he weighed in his prime. Just such a pity.

What a charitable sport boxing is in the way that it rewards losers. Australian Sam Soliman was unlucky in the way that he lost his IBF middle title to Jermain Taylor whilst fighting with a leg injury but then lost a controversial fight against Dominic Wade. Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam was floored four times in losing against David Lemieux for the vacant IBF in June. The first two spots in the IBF ratings are vacant with N’Jikam No 5(3rd) and Soliman No 7(5th). Soliman and N’Jikam will fight in Paris on 21 November and these two are seeing this fight as an eliminator for the right to face the winner of the unification fight between IBF champion David Lemieux and WBA champion Gennady Golovkin ( GGG is not the WBC champion-Miguel Cotto is the WBC champion and GGG is their interim champion a title that Don Jose Sulaiman supposedly binned a few years ago and they trotted out so that they could claim GGG as a WBC champion-pathetic!). The fly in the ointment is that Bahamian Tureano Johnson and Eamonn O’Kane, Nos. 3(1) and 4(2) are fighting in an IBF final eliminator on the Daniel Jacobs vs. Peter Quillin fight for the secondary WBA middle title in New York on 17 October so at best Soliman vs. N’Jikam is a fight for a place in the queue. O’Kane was not a happy guy this week when a mess up by promoters Golden Boy meant he was turned away at the airport because Golden Boy had not sorted out his visa. Take it out on Johnson, Eamonn.

Also on the 17 October show Denis Shafikov fights Rances Barthelemy for the vacant IBF light title. Little “Djingis Khan” always has to give away height and reach. Against Barthelemy it will be 5’5” (165cm) vs. 5’11” (180cm). The Russian tank just keeps rolling forward but it’s a pity he does not hollow legs and could make 118 lbs and fight someone his own size.

The WBA pulled their usual disgraceful bit of rating manipulation for the Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Herman Marquez fight. In their July ratings Marquez was unrated but in August he suddenly appeared at No 3. So typical of this bunch.

Arthur Abraham is scheduled to return to the ring in Hanover on 21 November but no challenger named yet. It will be a voluntary defence so he can choose his own opponent.

Underground boxing conjures up bare knuckles and salt mines conjures up slave labour but that’s not the case in Poland. Professional shows in Poland by Underground Boxing group are staged in a disused salt mine and in a paradigm shift people are actually paying to get into a salt mine. What a crazy world.