Might as well clear the deck in advance of the big phony countdown for Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao tonight plus all the fights on Showtime and ESPN2 and whatnot by looking at all the other fights in the works (we already did the Quick Jabs, so that's out of the way too). P.S. Would you rather have Snoop Dogg or Pardon The Interruption on your side? Either way, both will be wrong about many things, judging by their takes on boxing above. Pacquiao has agreed to the drug tests Mayweather asked for in December, not scoring knockouts is not equal to "losing it," etc. etc. etc.
Round And Round
Last week I made casual mention of former middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik maybe staying at 160, but I didn't put much stock in it. Then, earlier this week, Pavlik promoter Bob Arum talked about the idea of making Pavlik-Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. at 160 in December. Then, later in the week, it looked like that might not happen because Chavez trainer Freddie Roach doesn't think Chavez is ready for something like that yet. Still, there was much intrigue in this. We learned that Pavlik has a $600,000 minimum. That's nice money to get every time you fight, but it certainly has an impact on what kinds of fights you would take, and very well could be having a detrimental effect on Pavlik's career. Another thing is that Pavlik passed up on a rematch with division king Sergio Martinez to move to 168. A part of me thinks that he was steered away from that fight or didn't want it and he or someone used 168 as an excuse to avoid taking it. The other part of me thinks that he was finally talked into hiring a nutritionist, which is something Arum wisely suggested he do long ago, but then Pavlik has never been very good at taking care of himself, by boxer's standards. But it raises the question of why Arum would even talk about Pavlik-Chavez at all. Pavlik was eager for the fight, and with good reason -- he'd probably wreck Chavez. But then, Arum has been very protective of Chavez thus far, and it's hard to imagine why he'd throw Chavez in with Pavlik all a sudden. Maybe he was just trying to float a trial balloon to see if this is a fight he should tease us with for the next couple years to no satisfaction, per usual Arum procedures. Whatever it is, Pavlik-Chavez doesn't rank high on my list of fights I even kind of care about.
They're planning things pretty far ahead for junior bantamweight Nonito Donaire all a sudden. Arum has talked about him fighting Fernando Montiel in Mexico in November at bantamweight, then moving up againt to junior featherweight to take on Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. Given that Donaire's been talked about for a lot of fights, only for all of them to fall through, I wouldn't get too excited, but that's a good lineup if Montiel can win his bout this weekend to start it off.
Another man fighting this weekend, junior welterweight Timothy Bradley, said he'd like to fight on a doubleheader card with Devon Alexander, his nearest divisional rival, to set up a 2011 bout between the two. Whatever, Bradley, just fight Alexander, dude. Also at 140, Marcos Maidana will stay busy by fighting DeMarcus Corley Aug. 28. My love of Chop Chop is well-known, and while Corley' awkwardness and sneaky power can give anybody problems, at this point Maidana should eat him alive.
With heavyweight Vitali Klitschko having trouble securing a bout with Nicolay Valuev, media accounts from time to time mention Shannon Briggs as an alternative. Problem is, all of them are very poorly sourced, so it's hard to tell whether this is someone from the Briggs camp talking up their guy or whether it's a legit option. I can't say Klitschko-Briggs bothers me much, since Briggs always has a puncher's chance, but of course Briggs has done nothing whatsoever to deserve a Klitschko fight, so there's that.
For the second time, featherweight Chris John's unimportant fight with Fernando Saucedo has been postponed due to injury, but will be rescheduled. Should Juan Manuel Lopez make it past Rafael Marquez in September, Arum wants to match John and Lopez. It's third on my list of fights I'd like to see Lopez in behind Yuriorkis Gamboa and Celestion Caballero, but it's a desirable fight. Also at featherweight, Orlando Salido might fight Mikey Garcia in September on Showtime, which would make a good co-feature for Lopez-Marquez.
Bantamweights Jorge Arce and Martin Castillo will square off July 31 on Fox Sports Net/Fox Sports en Espanol, and even though the fight is a few years late, each are approximately as shopworn as the other so at least it's evenly matched.
In a change of plans, both Marco Antonio Barrera and Humberto Soto will fight someone else before fighting each other for Soto's lightweight belt, with Barrera maybe fighting David Diaz and Soto maybe fighting somebody. Here's how sick I am of boxing promoters' new trend of letting fights "marinate" -- I could give two shits about Barrera-Soto, and THIS pisses me off. Like, in my stomach, the anger is stirring so much it feels like two rabid rodents are clawing each other's eyes out.
(Round and Round sources: ESPN, Fightnews, BoxingScene)