NEW YORK — Peter Quillin sat on a dais late Saturday night with a toothy smile and hardly a scratch on his face. Hours earlier, Quillin, the undefeated WBO middleweight champion, the charismatic transplanted Brooklynite who has made the Barclays Center his new home, defended his title, stopping Fernando Guerrero in the seventh round. At 29, Quillin is a fighter with a bright future. Or at least he should be.
Posts Tagged ‘Gennady Golovkin’
• IBF middleweight champion Daniel Geale settled a score last week when he avenged his lone loss, winning a unanimous decision over countryman Anthony Mundine. Despite Mundine’s protests — and who knows what fight he was watching — it was a clean win for Geale, who was the more active and more accurate puncher. Geale’s promoter, Gary Shaw, would like to bring Geale to the U.S. next for a big fight but Shaw told SI.com that he received a letter yesterday from the IBF ordering him to begin negotiations with representatives for Australian Sam Soliman, who became Geale’s mandatory challenger after upsetting Felix Sturm last week. Geale isn’t going to give up that belt, so expect a fight against Soliman in Australia later this year.
• Hey Russell Crowe: Learn how to score a fight.
• Devon Alexander’s welterweight title defense against Kell Brook may be snakebitten. For the second time, Alexander-Brook has been postponed, this time due to a right biceps injury suffered by Alexander in training. Alexander-Brook had originally been scheduled for January 19th but was postponed until February 23rd. With Alexander-Brook off, Cornelius “K9” Bundrage’s junior middleweight title defense against Ishe Smith has been elevated to the main event of the Showtime televised card.
• While the middleweight title matchup between Gennady Golovkin and Nobuhiro Ishida on March 30th in Monte Carlo is a gross mismatch — if that fight goes more than three rounds, I’ll be shocked — the show does have an intriguing undercard. Super middleweight prospect Edwin Rodriguez (22-0) will take on Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (19-0) while former light heavyweight champion Zsolt Erdei (33-0) will challenge former 168-pound title challenger Denis Grachev (12-1). The undercard fights will be part of the Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four. The finals of tournament will take place July 13 in Monaco, with the winner taking home $600,000, the loser $400,000.
• Think there is some interest in the May 25th rematch between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler in the U.K.? Promoters of the event report that more than 8,000 tickets sold in the first hour and that the O2 Arena, capacity 17,000, is expected to be sold out. Froch, who said he would have retired if he lost to Lucian Bute last year, says he will likely quit if he loses to Kessler.
• Attention fellow media members: Reporting that someone is near death, as a British tabloid did with Muhammad Ali last week, is not cool. And it’s shameful when you’re wrong. According to an Ali’s daughter, May May, the 71-year old Ali, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, is not dying. The family released a photo of Ali in a Ravens jersey watching the Super Bowl. The reports stemmed from comments made by Ali’s brother, Rahman.
• According to super middleweight challenger Adonis Stevenson’s promoter, Yvon Michel, Stevenson will fight for a vacant IBF title sometime in June. Neither Carl Froch, the reigning IBF titleholder, or Mikkel Kessler, who will face Froch in May, has shown interest in facing Stevenson, and according to Michel the title will become vacant after that fight. In the meantime, Michel said Stevenson will face Darnell Boone in March in an attempt to avenge his only career defeat.
• Man, has Andre Dirrell wasted some prime years of his career.
• Kelly Pavlik continues to sound like a man who doesn’t intend to stay retired.
• We have a presumption of innocence in this country, but when it comes to performance enhancing drugs the assumption is that anyone connected with them through published reports is probably using them. That’s why Yuri Gamboa is going to have to submit to blood and urine testing for the rest of his career if he hopes to restore any credibility to it. Gamboa has yet to publicly respond to charges made in a Miami New Times report that linked him to an alleged PED peddler in south Florida. But regardless of what he says, Gamboa is going to have to prove, through testing, that he is a clean fighter.
• I can’t say I’m surprised that former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik decided to call it quits last week, at 30. From what I have been told, the move to Oxnard, California to train with Robert Garcia had not been going as well as planned and that Pavlik often appeared disinterested during training. It’s fortunate for Pavlik that Andre Ward had to back out of a scheduled January date with a shoulder injury; that could have gotten real ugly, real fast.
Is Pavlik done? I doubt it. Boxing is littered with comebacks, and Pavlik is young enough that he can take a couple of years off. I just hope Pavlik can keep the demons that have chased him the last few years in check. I wrote the first story on Pavlik following his second stint in rehab and I remember his defiance towards accepting that he had a drinking problem. It’s going to be a battle for him to keep his life in order now that he is retired. I hope that, like so many of his battles in the ring, he wins it.
• I’m told Gabriel Rosado, who absorbed a pretty good beating from Gennady Golovkin last weekend, is recovering well and expects to return sometime this summer. Rosado plans to drop back down to 154-pounds, where he will still be a top contender. I know Rosado has his eyes on Saul Alvarez, but a good fight for him would be a rematch with Alfredo Angulo, who knocked Rosado out in the second round in 2009.
• Speaking of Golovkin, promoter Tom Loeffler told me the plan going forward was to have Golovkin fight in March, somewhere in Europe, before returning to the U.S. in June for a bigger HBO fight. If IBF titleholder Daniel Geale wins his rematch with Anthony Mundine later this month, a unification fight with Golovkin would make for a good matchup.
• Timothy Bradley — who has made some of the worst business decisions in recent memory — is reportedly closing in on a fight with Yuri Gamboa. I like it. It’s a very winnable fight for Bradley and would give him a big bounce towards a bigger fight later in the year.
• Checked in with Sergio Martinez’s advisor, Sampson Lewkowicz, last weekend, who told me Martinez is doing well in his recovery from knee surgery. According to Lewkowicz, Martinez is doing strictly upper body workouts right now but will begin full training in late February and will be ready to fight in April.
• Top Rank announced the signing of Chinese amateur superstar Zou Shiming, a three-time world champion and two-time gold medalist in the junior flyweight division. Zou, 31, will make his pro debut in Macau in April.
• If you missed Sergey Kovalev’s one-sided beating of former light heavyweight titleholder Gabriel Campillo, find the replay on NBC Sports Network. In his stiffest test to date, Kovalev walked right through Campillo, a slick, talented boxer who had been knocked out just once before. Kovalev is more than just raw power: He’s a smart boxer who under the tutelage of John David Jackson has developed a complete game. He goes to the head, to the body and when he smells blood has a tremendous killer instinct. Main Events would like to bring him back sometime in June, preferably on HBO. If Tavoris Cloud can get past Bernard Hopkins in March, a Cloud-Kovalev showdown would be explosive.
• I like Bryant Jennings — he was SI.com’s 2012 Prospect of the Year. But fighting Wladimir Klitschko right now is a bad, bad idea. Jennings made great strides in 2012 but he is nowhere near ready for that kind of fight. At this point in his career, a knockout loss to Klitschko might be something he doesn’t recover from.
• Still no decisions have been made on the futures of the Klitschko brothers, per manager Bernd Boente, though I still expect both to be back in the ring sometime this spring.
• So Jorge Arce wants another fight. Boxers really need to stop using the word ‘retirement.’
• Another week, another disgraceful judging performance, this time by Tony Paolillo, who inexplicably scored the Roman Martinez-Juan Carlos Burgos fight for Martinez, 116-112. I’ve watched that fight three times and there is no way you can give Martinez that many rounds. The official punch stats gave Burgos a 286-193 advantage, including 234-164 in power shots.
Unsurprisingly, Burgos’ promoters demanded a rematch.
“Juan Carlos won that fight hands down and this week we will file for an immediate rematch”, said Artie Pelullo, CEO of Banner Promotions. “The kid worked hard and should be a world champion this morning. We just hope the WBO agrees with what the whole world saw and does the right thing by granting us this rematch.”
Some quick jabs …
• Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said no decisions have been made regarding opponents for Floyd Mayweather and Saul Alvarez in May. While Robert Guerrero continues to be a leading candidate to face Mayweather, Schaefer indicated that Austin Trout, who is coming off an upset win over Miguel Cotto in December, isn’t a likely candidate for Alvarez.
“[Trout] is one of the names being considered,” Schaefer said. “But at this point, I don’t think it will happen.”
• The shoulder injury that will sideline Andre Ward for at least the next few months could turn out to be a blessing for Kelly Pavlik. Pavlik, of course, was scheduled to face Ward later this month. Few people in the industry — myself included — gave Pavlik little more than a puncher’s chance against Ward, a physically stronger and more skilled fighter who has been campaigning at 168-pounds for most of his career. With Ward out, Pavlik has plenty of options in the super middleweight division. A fight with Lucian Bute has been dangled and a long-awaited matchup with Arthur Abraham could be a possibility. One name I’ve heard linked with Pavlik: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., who could still be contemplating a move up to 168-pounds.
• So Mariusz Wach says he has lost his passion for boxing. I would too if I took the beating Wladimir Klitschko gave him.
• Heavyweight contender Kubrat Pulev’s promoter, Chris Meyer of Sauerland Event, told me on Monday that he will begin negotiations with Main Events CEO Kathy Duva this week about a matchup between Pulev and Tomasz Adamek this year. Pulev-Adamek would be an IBF eliminator, with the winner guaranteed a shot at IBF titleholder Wladimir Klitschko. Meyer said he hoped to have a tentative plan settled in the next 10-14 days.
• Credit junior middleweight Gabriel Rosado for refusing to fight middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin at a catchweight of 158-pounds. I like Golovkin to win that fight but Rosado — who has never backed up from anyone — will make Golovkin fight. Could be an early candidate for Fight of the Year.
• NBC reported that the ratings for its December 22nd card headlined by Tomasz Adamek and Steve Cunningham averaged 1.6 million viewers (a 1.2 rating), peaking at 3.2 million viewers (2.2 rating). On the heels of a successful show on CBS a week earlier, I think it’s safe to say boxing will be back on network TV. Soon.
• Count me among those concerned about Manny Pacquiao after his devastating knockout loss to Juan Manuel Marquez last month. But I don’t think doctors who have never examined him — like Filipino neurologist Dr. Rustico Jimenez, who last week said he saw early signs of Parkinson’s disease in Pacquiao — have any right to go public with that kind of accusation. That’s staggeringly irresponsible.
- Chris Mannix
Quick jabs: Austin Trout flattered after signature win over Miguel Cotto, David Price keeps winning and more
Some quick jabs …
• Count Austin Trout among those not surprised that Golden Boy may try to move forward with plans to match Saul Alvarez with Miguel Cotto next year. In the aftermath of Trout’s lopsided decision win over Cotto, Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer would not rule out an Alvarez-Cotto fight.
“It’s flattering,” Trout told me on Sunday. “They obviously want no part of Austin Trout. But at some point, they are all going to have to face me.”
Trout told me that he knew he had Cotto after the third round, when he noticed that Cotto was moving a lot after getting hit.
“That’s not Cotto,” Trout said. “He boxed with Manny Pacquiao when he was in trouble. Against me, he was starting to move, bouncing around on his toes. When I was watching film the only time I saw him do that was when Pacquiao had him hurt.”
• British heavyweight David Price — who knocked out countryman Matt Skelton in the second round last weekend — says he wants his next fight to be in the U.S. And he already has an opponent in mind: Tony Thompson, the former title challenger who was knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko last July. According to Thompson’s trainer/manager, Barry Hunter, no one from Price’s team has contacted him about the fight. However, Thompson came back to Hunter’s Washington D.C. gym two weeks ago and mentioned an interest in fighting Price.
Hunter told me he still wasn’t sure he was interested in continuing to work with Thompson. He said he was very disappointed with Thompson’s effort against Klitschko and needs to see him work for a few weeks in the gym to see if he still has it.
• Hunter says one of his other fighters, Lamont Peterson, is in the gym and is only a couple of pounds off the 140-pound limit. Peterson has a mandatory IBF title defense against Kendall Holt, but that fight has yet to be scheduled. Hunter says he is hoping he and Holt’s promoter, Gary Shaw, can schedule Peterson-Holt for late January, preferably in the D.C. area.
• Buckle up for Gabriel Rosado-Gennady Golovkin on Jan. 19 in NYC. It’s going to be a war.
• Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said welterweight Victor Ortiz — last seen getting his jaw broken by Josesito Lopez last June — is recovering well and will be ready to return to the ring early next year. ”He’s doing much better,” Schaefer said. “He had some infections to deal with but the swelling has gone down and he is going to be ready to go in March or early April.”
Schaefer said Ortiz “did not want any tune-up fights” and in addition to a rematch with Lopez said a fight with WBA welterweight champion Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center was a possibility.
• The more people I talk to, the more I think Floyd Mayweather’s next fight will be against Robert Guerrero. I don’t get the feeling Mayweather wants to fight at 154 — Alvarez’s weight class — and Guerrero is a marketable fighter coming off an impressive win on HBO. It just seems like the right fit.
• Boxing press conferences are a joke. On Saturday, I attended a presser to announce the Feb. 9 fight at the Barclays Center between junior welterweight titleholder Danny Garcia and Zab Judah. During the press conference Garcia’s father/trainer, Angel — a known agitator — took some shots at Judah. Judah took offense and before long a melee broke out, with members of Judah’s entourage (who should not have been there in the first place) storming the dais. The brawl effectively ended the press conference and prevented several reporters from speaking to the fighters.
And this fight needed as much local press as it could get: Though plenty of lip service was paid to Judah’s Brooklyn roots, he has never been a draw at the box office. By popping off like that, Judah and Garcia essentially cost themselves money.
• Had a chance to catch up with U.S. Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields this weekend for a story that will run later this month in Sports Illustrated. Shields told me she has not made a decision yet on making another Olympic run, and had an interesting reason why.
“I’m not really recognized,” Shields said. “I got a lot of credit for being the first woman Olympic gold medalist. I feel like if one of the men won gold they would have these endorsements or a huge signing bonus. It’s just different for the women. We weren’t showcased like we should have been. A lot of people who were watching couldn’t find me on TV. I think I should get more credit. I have already done the hard work, I shouldn’t keep doing it without reaping the rewards. So I have not decided on what I am going to do. I’m going to do what is going to help keep food on the table.”
• Shameless plug time: Pick up SI this week for my column on why fighters’ unwillingness to seek out the biggest challenge has created a watered-down era in boxing.
– Chris Mannix
Some quick jabs …
• I’m told HBO is now considering two possible opponents for Gennady Golovkin’s Jan. 19 middleweight title defense: Fernando Guerrero, a one-time prospect who is represented by Al Haymon, and Gabriel Rosado, a rising junior middleweight who is currently the IBF’s mandatory challenger for Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage’s title. To me, the decision is an easy one: Guerrero — who beat Rosado in a controversial eight-round middleweight fight in 2009 — has done nothing recently to warrant this kind of opportunity. Rosado, meanwhile, beat three quality opponents in 2012, all on NBC Sports Network, all by knockout. Rosado is the definition of a television-friendly fighter. A matchup with Golovkin would be a war.
• Super featherweight Teon Kennedy’s injury forced Main Events to find a new opponent for undefeated prospect Jerry Belmontes in the co-feature of the Dec. 8 card on NBC Sports Network. On Monday they announced that Eric Hunter (16-2) would step in. Hunter has been on the shelf for most of the last two years, fighting once (last July) since December of 2010.
• Kudos to Seth Mitchell for accomplishing a lot in boxing despite not picking up the gloves until he was 24. But this experiment is probably over. You can’t teach a chin and in his last two fights Mitchell has been buzzed by Chazz Witherspoon and knocked out in two rounds by Johnathan Banks. There are things Mitchell can do to improve — he still has no idea how to hold when he gets hurt — but if light hitters like Witherspoon and Banks can wobble him, he’s a sitting duck for one of the Klitschko brothers.
• Speaking of Banks: I’d like to see him face one more quality opponent before looking for a fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. A matchup with Tyson Fury, David Price or his preferred choice, Alexander Povetkin, next year could make Banks some money and, if he wins, give him some momentum heading into a major title fight.
• I’m looking forward to Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout on Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden, but that undercard is horrendous. Jayson Velez and Danny Jacobs — questionable choices for a televised undercard to begin with — will fight separately on Showtime’s broadcast in fights that do nothing for me. Velez (19-0) will face Salvador Sanchez II (30-4-3), nephew of Mexican legend Salvador Sanchez, while Jacobs (23-1), the former prospect and cancer survivor who will fight for the second time in three months, gets Chris Fitzpatrick (15-2).
• I don’t know what has gotten into Carl Froch, but after another impressive knockout — this one over handpicked challenger Yusaf Mack — I just don’t know how Lucian Bute can beat him. Froch is just too strong.
• Bring on Adrien Broner-Ricky Burns.
• Thank you, Fred Sternburg, for sending out 400 emails letting everyone know that Manny Pacquiao gave away free turkeys last week. My overflowing inbox extends its regards.
• Hey British promoter Frank Maloney: Your comment that Wladimir Klitschko would be happy not to have to pay Emanuel Steward his 10 percent after a one-sided win over Mariusz Wach last week was disgusting and classless. Steward, a longtime mentor and trainer for Klitschko, lost a battle with cancer last month. Maloney should be ashamed.
– Chris Mannix
Some quick jabs …
• Lucian Bute needed a win to regain his confidence after last May’s devastating knockout loss to Carl Froch. But nothing I saw in Bute’s unanimous-decision win over Denis Grachev on Saturday convinced me Bute will beat Froch in a rematch, tentatively scheduled for next March. Bute looked tentative at times, was backed up way too often and looked clueless when forced to fight on the inside. Put it simple: If that Bute shows up against Froch, it will be lights out again.
• A quick thought on Grachev: I believed he was a good fighter when the Bute fight was made, and I still do. The fight was close — the 118-110 card submitted by Canadian judge Claude Paquette reeked of hometown scoring — and Grachev was the aggressor throughout. The super middleweight division is loaded and I would have no problem seeing Grachev in a big fight next year.
• Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really looking forward to Wladimir Klitschko’s fight against undefeated 6-foot-8 challenger Mariusz Wach. I think it has the potential to be a pretty good fight.
• Count me among the many disappointed that Tyson Fury’s fight against Denis Boytsov has been called off. Fury-Boytsov was just the kind of fight the heavyweight division needs: a matchup between two undefeated, would-be contenders that would bolster the resume of the winner and weed the loser out of the division rankings. What’s worse, Boytsov pulled out because, according to his promoter, he wasn’t going to be in shape for the fight. Not in shape? Then why did he agree to the fight in the first place?
• Marco Huck’s entertaining cruiserweight title defense over 42-year old Firat Arslan was fun to watch but provided incontestable proof that Huck should not go anywhere near Wladimir Klitschko. Huck is young (27) but is showing the wear and tear of a fighter who doesn’t know how to duck. A matchup with Klitschko — which Huck has publicly pleaded for — would be criminal.
• Hey, look, Jean Pascal is coming back. That is until Pascal — inactive since losing to Bernard Hopkins in May 2011 — finds a reason not fight. Between Pascal and Andre Dirrell, I’m not sure who has wasted more prime fighting years.
• Almost four pounds over the light heavyweight limit. Way to be professional, Allan Green.
• This 50 Cent-Floyd Mayweather feud is pretty entertaining, and it only figures to get better. History suggests that 50 will soon release a track bashing Mayweather and Mayweather will use the press tour for his next fight to verbally smack 50 around all over the country. Still, in a battle for the boxing industry, my money is on Mayweather. Floyd is a marketing genius with the biggest draw in town — himself — in his stable. 50 Cent has an unwatchable fighter in Billy Dib, an inactive one in Andre Dirrell and another, Yuri Gamboa, who may be on his way back to Top Rank. 50 is a gifted recording artist but he doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to make it in boxing.
• Memo to Tom Loeffler: Keep Gennady Golovkin away from the super middleweights. The latest intel has Golovkin returning in January against either Edwin Rodriguez or Thomas Oosthuizen, two 168-pounders. Golovkin is powerful and seriously skilled but he is not a particularly big middleweight (5-foot-10) and it makes no sense for him to be moving up. I admire Golovkin’s willingness to take on all comers, but a better fight — with the understanding that neither Daniel Geale or Peter Quillin will face him — is Matthew Macklin. Golovkin-Macklin would sell a lot of tickets at the Madison Square Garden theater and be a pretty good fight.
– Chris Mannix
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
Some quick jabs …
• I have to admit, I was bitterly disappointed when Golden Boy, on behalf of undefeated heavyweight and former Olympic bronze medalist Deontay Wilder, turned down an offer to fight rising heavyweight prospect Bryant Jennings last week. In case you missed it, Wilder and Jennings have been in a Twitter beef, during which Wilder called Jennings out. Jennings’ promoter, Main Events, responded by offering Wilder the slot opposite Jennings on its next NBC Sports Network show on Dec. 8. Yet Wilder’s team quickly shot it down, saying the money (likely around $25,000, though there was room for negotiation) wasn’t enough for that kind of fight.
Now, I understand that a year from now, Wilder-Jennings could be a pretty big fight. But that’s only if both continue their respective ascents. The fact is, neither Wilder or Jennings has fought anyone notable and there is a strong possibility one or both will get beating which would take much of the shine off of a matchup (see: the vaporized Juan Manuel Lopez-Yuri Gamboa megafight). The winner of a showdown in December would take a big step in the heavyweight division, probably vaulting himself up in the rankings and certainly becoming more attractive to the higher-paying premium networks. Unfortunately, Wilder, who frankly has accomplished nothing in his four-year professional career, sees it a little different.
• Here’s why Wladimir Klitschko may never fight in the U.S. again: More than 16,000 tickets have already been sold for Klitschko’s title defense against Marisuz Wach in November in Hamburg, Germany.
• Speaking of hot tickets, Top Rank reports that 13,000 seats have already been sold for Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez IV in December. It seems despite the lukewarm response the fight received from pundits, there is still a strong interest from fans to see these two future Hall of Famers in the ring.
• Looks like Gennady Golovkin will return to the ring on Dec. 8, when he will defend his WBA middleweight title somewhere in Europe. Golovkin hoped to land an HBO date, but the network is booked solid in December and Golovkin is determined to fight before the end of the year. Main Events lobbied Golovkin hard to fight on either its Dec. 8 or Dec. 22 shows. However Golovkin’s promoter, Tom Loeffler, believes he can get a better deal fighting in Europe.
• There is some debate over when Wladimir Klitschko owes a mandatory defense of his WBA title. Sauerland Event, which represents WBA “regular” titleholder Alexander Povetkin, claims Klitschko must face Povetkin by the end of February. Klitschko’s manager, Bernd Boente, says the fight isn’t due until next July. My opinion: Who cares? Klitschko has chased Povetkin for years and, after Wach, doesn’t have any viable opponents on the horizon. Cut a deal — March sounds pretty good — and make the fight.
• Sign me up for more Kubrat Pulev. Pulev’s 11th-round knockout of 6-foot-7 Alexander Ustinov on Epix last weekend — which followed a knockout of 6-foot-7 heavyweight prospect Alexander Dimitrenko before that — has established the Bulgarian as a legitimate heavyweight contender. Pulev will likely face the winner of Tomasz Adamek-Odlanier Solis in December, with a win positioning him as the IBF’s No. 1 contender for Wladimir Klitschko’s title.
• Let me join the chorus of those who think Don King’s $1.1 million purse bid for Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne is nuts. Neither Arreola or Stiverne has done much of anything lately, certainly not enough to warrant that type of payday. There is a good chance Arreola-Stiverne on HBO or Showtime but there is no way King is going to get his money back in the license fee. It’s simply not that significant a fight.
– Chris Mannix
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