Some quick jabs…
• Though it wasn’t announced, Main Events had planned to match heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek against former title challenger Odlanier Solis on its NBC show — the main NBC network, not NBC Sports Network — on Dec. 22nd. However, last week Solis’ new advisor, Gabriel Penagaricano, went to Main Events and said the money Solis had agreed to wasn’t going to be enough.
In an email to SI.com, Duva explained what happened:
“Recently, Solis pulled out of a fight in Spain that had been made by [promoter] Ahmet Ohner. Shortly after that we were informed by Solis’ new representative that he would not fight on Dec. 22nd under the terms that had been agreed to by his previous management. We went back and forth for over a week trying to resolve the situation. He was given a deadline of Friday, Oct. 12th to sign the paperwork. When he did not, we informed his representative that we were prepared to move on with another opponent. We then gave him until Monday at noon to reconsider. When he did not come back to us with an agreement by noon on Monday, we offered the fight to another heavyweight, who jumped at the opportunity. The deal was literally finished in the space of a few hours. Late on Monday night, Solis’ representative informed us that he was now ready to live up to our original deal. At that point, however, it was too late to turn back, as we had committed to another bout.”
That other fighter Duva alludes to is Steve Cunningham, a longtime cruiserweight titleholder who made the jump to heavyweight in September. In 2008, Cunningham waged an epic war with Adamek, losing a split decision. Though Solis-Adamek was a more meaningful fight — the winner would have been well positioned for a 2013 fight with Wladimir Klitschko — Adamek-Cunningham is a can’t miss action fight.
“This is a fight my team and I have wanted since the first one,” Cunningham said. “Adamek and I have been on two different paths, but in December our paths will collide again. I have respect for Adamek; he has done great things in his career, but I’m confident I’ll get the victory. I’m looking forward to it. On December 22nd I’ll be the best Steve Cunningham anyone has seen yet.”
• Meanwhile, Duva continues to look for an opponent for rising heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings. One opponent who turned them down was Tor Hamer, a once-beaten heavyweight in Lou DiBella’s stable. According to DiBella, the offer — around $15,000, he said — simply wasn’t enough. Sound crazy? To me, too. Hamer’s career stalled after a 2010 loss to Kelvin Price and though he seemed to revive it after winning the U.K. Prizefighter tournament earlier this year, he is hardly a sought after fighter.
• Carl Froch’s recent declaration that he wants a rematch with Lucian Bute goes against everything he told me after beating Lucian Bute last May. I did one of the first interviews with Froch, for Epix, and I specifically asked him if he wanted another crack at Ward. And he couldn’t have said “no” faster, telling me (and I’m paraphrasing) that he had his belt, Ward has his, and they should just go their separate ways. That a big HBO payday comes with Ward may have something to do with his reversal.
• Adrien Broner is known for doing some crazy things on Twitter, but Broner topped himself Monday, tweeting out his phone number and inviting his 33,000 followers to call and send pictures. Crazy.
• Count me among those impressed by David Price’s first round knockout of 40-year-old Audley Harrison. Harrison is a stiff who has never lived up to his potential, but the 6-foot-8 Price showed brutal power by not just putting Harrison down, but by putting him out. While many are clamoring for the 29-year old Price to fight Wladimir Klitschko, I’d prefer he face countryman Tyson Fury, a fellow giant (6-foot-9) with an unblemished record. The winner of Price-Fury would have a nice notch in his belt and the experience and momentum needed going into a fight with Klitschko.
• Though middleweight prospect Peter Quillin is technically part of Freddie Roach’s stable at Wild Card, Roach will not be in Quillin’s corner when he challenges Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam for the WBO title at the Barclays Center on Saturday. Eric Brown, who has worked Quillin’s corner for the last five fights, will be advising Quillin in his first major title shot. “Freddie is involved as much as he can be with me,” Quillin told me on Tuesday. “When I have time I work with Freddie. But Eric, who has a little more time to work with me, he works with me a lot. Eric is going to be in my corner. No disrespect to Freddie, but it’s all about me at this point.”
– Chris Mannix