Some quick jabs…
• Peter Quillin-Gennady Golovkin, anyone? Quillin looked strong against Hassan N’Dam, scoring six knockdowns on his way to a lopsided decision win. There is a lot to like about Quillin; he is charismatic, entertaining and a good quote. Meanwhile Golovkin is a rising star, accomplished (an ’03 World Champion, an ’04 Olympics silver medalist) with crushing power. HBO would pay a premium for Quillin-Golovkin, and the winner would own two titles and be in line for a lucrative fight with Sergio Martinez in 2013. Alas, Quillin-Golovkin is doubtful to happen. Golovkin will fight anyone but it’s more likely Golden Boy will feed Quillin an easy opponent before lining up a rematch with N’Dam next year.
• Speaking of Golovkin, promoter Tom Loeffler told me he has scuttled plans for Golovkin to fight in Europe in December and is negotiating with HBO for a date in January. The two strongest candidates are former title challenger Matthew Macklin, who is coming off a first-round knockout win over Joachim Alcine, and former WBO middleweight champion Dmitry Pirog.
• Heavyweight prospect Robert Helenius — who has been sidelined since last December with a shoulder injury — has an opponent for November 10th: Sherman “The Tank” Williams, a journeyman who most notably fought Evander Holyfield in a three-round no-contest last year. Helenius-Williams will be televised in the U.S. on Epix.
• Here’s why Devon Alexander-Kell Brook won’t happen, despite the fact that Brook is the mandatory for the IBF welterweight title Alexander took from Randall Bailey last weekend: No site. Alexander isn’t going to England to fight Brook and I find it hard to believe Brook will want to fight in St. Louis, where Alexander is a solid draw. It’s too bad, too. Alexander-Brook is a solid fight.
• I like Tim Bradley, but if he really turned down a reported $2.3 million purse because he didn’t want to fight Lamont Peterson again, he’s crazy.
• Peterson-Kendall Holt would have been a great fight for NBC. Unfortunately, the network is out of shows for 2012, with Bryant Jennings headlining the December 8 date on NBC Sports Network against Bowie Tupou and the rematch between Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham serving as the main event for December 22.
• No surprise, but Wladimir Klitschko made it official when he announced that Johnathan Banks would be his chief cornerman for his November 10 fight against Mariusz Wach, replacing an ailing Manny Steward. I’m told Steward badly wanted to work the fight but his ongoing health problems will keep him in the U.S. Banks is a longtime sparring partner for Klitschko and an aspiring trainer himself.
• My last word on Erik Morales: Morales has had a long and decorated career, but it’s over, and it should have been over well before Morales was busted by USADA for using a diuretic before last weekend’s loss to Danny Garcia, calling into question everything he has accomplished before that. We have no proof Morales has used illegal substances before — and, if you believe his “tainted meat” argument, we still don’t — but a cheater isn’t usually caught the first time he does it, so you have to wonder just what Morales has been putting in his body all these years. Deep down, I probably wish Morales never came back, that he stayed retired after his 2007 defeat to David Diaz, because winning a worthless WBC junior welterweight title — a title that was unfairly stripped from Tim Bradley just to give Morales a shot at it — wasn’t worth this ending. As time passes, the body of Morales’s career may overshadow the ugly ending. We may remember the epic trilogies with Marco Antonio Barrera and Manny Pacquiao, the three legitimate titles and the countless exciting fights. Morales was a warrior in the truest sense of the word; when asked why he decided to brawl with Pacquiao in the 12th round of their ’05 fight despite being comfortably ahead, Morales said he wanted to give the fans what they paid for. That fighter will most certainly be missed.
– Chris Mannix