On Thursday, Main Events announced the plan for its Saturday afternoon show. The originally scheduled main event between heavyweights Tomasz Adamek and Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov is off. Adamek, 36, was forced to withdraw after coming down with an illness on Wednesday. After scrambling to find a replacement — Steve Cunningham, Bryant Jennings, Malik Scott, Monte Barrett were among those who passed — Main Events settled on Wilson, a fringe cruiserweight contender coming off a loss to Alexander Alekseev last February. Glazkov-Wilson will now headline the show from Turning Stone Resort Casino (NBC, 2:30 p.m.). It’s possible that Adamek could return in December, on a Main Events card that will be televised on NBC Sports Network.
In a statement, Adamek apologized for having to withdraw from the fight. “For the first time in my career I have had to pull out of a bout,” he said. “I apologize to all of my fans, but the stomach flu has hit me so hard that it is impossible to go through with Saturday’s bout. I was hoping that against the odds I would recover sufficiently to compete. However, that has not happened. My doctor has told me that I should not fight and, very honestly, I feel awful. Therefore, I had to inform Main Events that I could not compete on Saturday.”
• Earlier this week, in what can only be described as a sad, attention-grabbing decision, the WBC announced that it was naming Floyd Mayweather Jr. “Supreme Champion,” an utterly meaningless award handed out to enhance the WBC’s already snug relationship with Mayweather. Instead of handing out awards, perhaps the WBC could use the time to cobble together rankings that don’t look like they were compiled by tossing names at a dartboard. Perhaps the governing body’s officials can explain how Deontay Wilder, who has fought an endless string of stiffs en route to a 30-0 record, is ranked higher than Tomasz Adamek and Tyson Fury in its heavyweight rankings. Or how Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. is ranked at No. 2 at super middleweight — ahead of James De Gale — despite never having fought in the weight class.
Sanctioning bodies are a joke, and the WBC’s recent run — let’s not forget the decision to strip Andre Ward of his 168-pound title for inactivity, while Vitali Klitschko, who last fought in September 2012, on the same day Ward did, continues to hold his belt — has made it arguably the biggest laughingstock of them all. Perhaps instead of issuing press releases, it should spend some time trying to restore credibility to its sad organization.
• Speaking of sanctioning bodies, here’s a prime example of how easily they can be manipulated. Last week promoter Gary Shaw announced that recently-signed heavyweight Bryant Jennings had been elevated into the top-five in the WBC and WBA’s latest rankings… despite not having stepped into the ring since last June. There are a number of reasons boxing flounders on the fringes of the mainstream, but the fact that politicking delivers more results than merit ranks at the top of the list.
• Let me join the chorus of those preferring to see Miguel Cotto fight Sergio Martinez before Saul Alvarez. Not because I don’t want to see Cotto-Alvarez; but because an Alvarez fight will be there if Cotto loses to Martinez. Let Alvarez pick up a belt — Carlos Molina is an option — and make a Cotto fight at the end of the year.
• I would love to see Peter Quillin-Curtis Stevens in 2014.
• Here’s something: Kelly Swanson — best known as p.r. maven for Floyd Mayweather and Bernard Hopkins — is stepping into the ring. On Saturday, Kelly “The Communicator” Swanson will fight a three-rounder (90-seconds per round) at the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. Proceeds from the fight will go to Gleason’s Give A Kid A Dream Foundation. And Swanson is taking her fight seriously: Heather Hardy, a rising women’s contender, helped Swanson with her training and on fight night, Hopkins will work her corner.
• In his new book, Undisputed Truth, Mike Tyson says he used a fake penis to fool drug testers and fought some of his fights while abusing cocaine. Sounds about right.
• In the aftermath of the tragic death of junior featherweight Frankie Leal last month, one would think promoters and licensing boards would be more careful about who they put in the ring. Not Eddie Hearn and the British Boxing Board of Control, both of which are eagerly including the 45-year old James Toney in its heavyweight Prizefighter tournament. It’s a shameful ratings grab to include the faded Toney, a longtime middleweight titleholder who hasn’t won a meaningful fight since 2003 and hasn’t been competitive in years. That the BBBoC contends that Toney has passed all his medicals is meaningless; in interviews in recent years, Toney’s speech has been slurred, a clear and obvious sign that he is suffering from the effects of a long career in boxing. Make no mistake, Hearn and the BBBoC know exactly who they are putting in the ring, and they don’t care. Not as long as Toney’s name brings ticket sales and television viewers.
- – CHRIS MANNIX