Some quick jabs …
• Expect to see Andre Ward, fresh off last weekend’s impressive knockout win over Chad Dawson, in Las Vegas this Saturday at the Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Sergio Martinez middleweight title fight. Ward is eyeballing the winner for his next fight. Just don’t expect Ward, a 168-pound super middleweight, to drop too close to the 160-pound middleweight limit. Ward’s trainer, Virgil Hunter, told me Ward might be willing to cut “a couple of pounds” but no more than that. Nor is Ward all that interested in moving all the way up to 175 pounds, either. Hunter believes anyone who wants a crack at Ward should have to fight him at his weight.
• So much for TMT Promotions — a company founded this summer by rapper 50 Cent and believed to involve Floyd Mayweather — making a big splash. While TMT is still in the hunt for a November date on HBO, nothing is close to being finalized. Moreover, 50 Cent has indicated in recent interviews that his relationship with Mayweather isn’t as strong as it used to be. That’s not good news for Andre Dirrell, Yuri Gamboa and Billy Dib, fighters who have signed to TMT but don’t appear to have many options before the end of the year.
• After watching Tomasz Adamek get knocked down and struggle in an eventual fifth-round knockout of journeyman Travis Walker, you have to wonder just how much the 35-year old Adamek has left in the tank. In the last year Adamek has been battered by Vitali Klitschko, gone the distance in wins over Nagy Aguilera and Eddie Chambers, and been life and death with Walker. Adamek has fought some wars in his career; now, they might be catching up with him.
• When Zsolt Erdei withdrew from his Sept. 29 fight with Isaac Chilemba, one solution was to take Chilemba off promoter Lou DiBella’s HBO-televised show and move him to a Main Events-promoted Sept. 21 card on NBC Sports Network. Main Events had been searching for a replacement for Gabriel Campillo, who withdrew from a fight with Sergey Kovalev, which would have headlined the NBC show. DiBella and HBO, however, wanted Main Events to give up Kovalev and have him fight Chilemba on HBO. But because boxing promoters get along about as well as a divorced couple, Chilemba stayed on DiBella’s card, where he will fight a yet to be named opponent on the untelevised undercard, while Kovalev will face unheralded Lionel Thompson on the NBC card. No one wins.
• I still think that from a marketing perspective, Kelly Pavlik makes the most sense for Andre Ward.
• If HBO can’t make Adrien Broner-Antonio DeMarco in November, I don’t want to see either of them on television. The network has invested millions in Broner, who has looked great plowing over a collection of stiffs. And DeMarco, who knocked out John Molina in less than a minute on Saturday, told me that he is ready, willing and able to fight Broner in November. Make it happen, or don’t give them the platform or the money to fight someone else.
• Look for scintillating middleweight Gennady Golovkin to be back in the ring before the end of the year; just don’t expect it to be a unification fight against Daniel Geale. There’s a strong interest from HBO to make Golovkin-Geale but the sense I’m getting is that it’s more likely to happen in the spring of 2013.
• No one at 140 pounds wants a piece of Lucas Matthyse. No one.
• Spent some time talking to several people in Manny Pacquiao’s camp this week and no one can say with any certainty whether Pacquiao will fight again this year. Top Rank is still holding the Dec. 8 date but it is waiting to hear from Pacquiao.
• During its broadcast last weekend, HBO incorrectly identified Ward as the last U.S. Olympic boxing gold medalist. Ward is the last men’s boxing gold medalist. The last gold medal won by a USA boxer was claimed by Claressa Shields, the 17-year old phenom who picked up middleweight gold in London.
– Chris Mannix