Yes. There has been an element of the accursed to the Super Six. Lots of injuries, delays, etc. Some of it has been all kinds of suspicious, too, and Andre Dirrell's expected return to ESPN this fall feeds into that. There's so much funny business going on in boxing that people reflexively become paranoiacs. It's not that skepticism isn't healthy or sometimes even warranted by fishy stuff -- it's just that all this "Nuh uh, not true" even in the face of credible narratives gets old. Did you know that Manny Pacquiao is on steroids? Or that boxing adviser Al Haymon controls ringside judges, ringside doctors and even rival boxing trainers? Maybe you didn't know that Floyd Mayweather vs. Victor Ortiz was fixed. I mean, it's not like you can DISPROVE those things, can you? If it can't be disproven, then it must be true! It's why I believe our universe is ruled by malevolent pink elephants who travel by intergalactic hovercraft. Think I'm wrong? Then prove I'm wrong!
Where was I at? Oh yeah, bummer about Ward-Froch getting postponed. It just means I'll spend Halloween in Washington, D.C. Hopefully it'll get rescheduled for real soon, like November or December, unless it turns out this cut is just a cover story for Ward to get out of fighting Froch because Ward's such a coward that he fought freaking annoying-ass Sakio Bika once Dirrell pulled out of their fight when he could've fought a chump instead. (But points to Froch for making fun of Ward's nickname. "SOB," not "SOG." Pffftttttt that's hilarious.)
In the rest of this edition of Quick Jabs, besides all those words I just said and the things in the headline: some remaining Mayweather-Ortiz tidbits; an update on Manny Pacquiao's finances; some recommended reading; and more.
It will be my hope that boxing writers and fans aren't split into any kind of second civil war over Antonio Margarito getting another big fight, this time a junior middleweight rematch with Miguel Cotto, the subject of various news conferences and interviews this past week. My position is unchanged from Pacquiao-Margarito: I'd prefer the man be banned from the sport. Others are more forgiving, or less convinced of the evidence against him, and that's all fine and good. But there was some irony this week, no matter what you think of Margarito, to Top Rank's Bob Arum complaining about how what happened in Mayweather-Ortiz was bad for boxing and turned people off when there are a lot of people who feel the same about Margarito. And there Arum was, playing it up with a weird "black suitcase for the hand wraps" gimmick, even! Piece of work, that guy. It's not that I don't believe his story about Mayweather-Ortiz turning off some unnamed would-be sponsor. And a million dollars would've helped pay for Margarito-Cotto II, where Cotto is getting at least $5 million and Margarito $2.5 million. That in and of itself is evidence once more of how much Ortiz got f'd by taking $2 million to fight Mayweather, too -- the opponent in a pay-per-view that will almost certainly do less business than Ortiz' fight is getting paid more than him. He got sucker punched by Mayweather, and he was made a sucker by his own promoter, too...
That promoter is Golden Boy, and if you were worried that GBP's peace with Top Rank was uneasy, you have new cause and need look no further than, well, Margarito-Cotto II. See, that fight is on Dec. 3 via HBO PPV. Now, also on that date, is the bantamweight rematch between Abner Mares and Joseph Agbeko, on Showtime. GBP is the lead promoter of that fight. Arum is now vowing revenge all over the place, saying he thinks Showtime is trying to get a little retribution for moving Pacquiao from Showtime to HBO to back again, and he's going to make them -- and GBP -- pay. The question is, did Mares-Agbeko II have to be on that day? The IBF ordered the rematch by Dec. 14. Dec. 10 wouldn't have worked because it would've gone head-to-head with another GBP fight on HBO, Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson (junior welterweight). It wasn't really gonna work for Thanksgiving weekend. And on Nov. 19, it would've gone up against another Top Rank card, on HBO, with middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. vs. Peter Manfredo, Jr. So... if I'm Showtime and GBP, I go for Dec. 3. Although maybe if I'm GBP's Richard Schaefer I don't hype up how it'll be cheaper for fans than Margarito-Cotto II, because that's just poking Arum with a stick. Strangely receiving very little criticism from the alphabet gang-defenders is the IBF, which could've allowed the fight to happen in early January, I imagine, had it wanted to be friendly and accommodating...
In the big ongoing question about the state of Pacquiao's finances, the pound-for-pound king and top welterweight got an entry in the "not good" side of the ledger when VisionQwest, an accounting firm hired to look into his books only to be dismissed not long thereafter, released a public statement. It's filled with discussion of irregularities, and on its own, don't sound so hot. But keep in mind that doing this to a former client doesn't exactly speak well of VisionQwest. It's just something to file away. And yes, all these accounting puns are intentional...
Mayweather-Ortiz tidbits: 1. I kept wondering when lightweight Brandon Rios would let loose on his rival Ortiz for being such a doofus in Ortiz' big welterweight showdown with Mayweather last week, and he finally did. But instead of a 48-hour marathon of "The Grind" on MTV, the dancing on Ortiz' grave was rather mild. Rios said he'd move on now, that he was sick of tormenting Ortiz, and good on him. I like Rios feisty, but it was bordering on abuse. 2. I'm disappointed in the caliber of rapper-related feuds that boxing is producing these days after big events. Back in the day, rappers got murdered after boxing matches! Now, Ray J and Fabolous get in a fight where either no punches landed, or a bunch did in the minds of a coked-out guy mainly famous for sleeping with Kim Kardashian. 3. Ortiz and his promoter Oscar De La Hoya are having a conference call with the media Tuesday on the end of the Mayweather fight. Huh? Why? What more is there to discuss? 4. After the fight, Andre Berto retweeted a bunch of crap on Twitter reinforcing his allegation that Ortiz was on steroids when they fought, even though Berto later claimed that he never said any such thing. This time, his promoter Lou DiBella jumped in, too. Sore losers much? 5. I know there's not a chance in hell that Mayweather himself was involved in this video, but given how unfunny he usually is, it's nice that he uploaded it to his YouTube page. It made me laugh, anyway.
That recommended reading I mentioned: Grantland has been running a lot of good boxing material, much of it from Eric Raskin, and that collaboration produced a remarkably absorbing oral history of the middleweight fight between Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler. Really -- spend some time with it. You won't regret the investment. Also: The Onion had an item on boxing worth reading and laughing at, however much it skewers the dark side of the sport. And Victory Light had a, shall we say, original take on Mayweather-Ortiz that isn't for the easily offended...
If you don't want to watch more 24/7 Mayweather/Ortiz Saturday or don't have access to some of the other boxing on that day, you might want to give a look at the latest epsiode of "48 Hours Mystery" at 10 p.m. ET because it will have a little bit on the Arturo Gatti case that we didn't much have prior, like, for instance, an interview with his widow, Amanda Rodrigues...
There are lots of ways boxing culture is unique, in fact, besides the paranoia. This week, junior middleweight Demetrius Andrade and junior welterweight Danny O'Connor both had somewhat insignificant fights where both scored knockouts, something neither of them have in the past appeared to be overly inclined toward. The news releases afterward both emphasized how dynamic! and aggressive! and exciting! they were. Can you see that happening in any other sport, after an athlete or team scores a victory, to talk about the way the victory happened? In boxing, sometimes that matters more. And I'm not decrying it. I would like to see Andrade and O'Connor be more exciting myself. It's just unique, is all...
As kangaroos are the unofficial mascot of TQBR, this trend of 'roos beating up senior citizens then getting euthanized has got to stop. ("Two is a trend," as the old saying goes.)
A few more things --
Rafael says Mayweather-Ortiz will do "at least" a million buys, and he said on Twitter that he thought it would be between 1.2 and 1.4.
Also, DiBella said they'll insist on drug testing for Ortiz-Berto II. I'm sick of this conditional "just because we're suspicious for no reason" drug testing shit.
Great read, loved the rant on people always looking for the worst in boxing instead of looking at objectively. Big shock, it took all of 2 months for the tenous
Freaking iPhone, GB and TR war to flare up. Let's hope this is just an aftershock. There not used to playing together yet.
@scottchristianson4 Freaking technology!
Thanks -- I find that people sometimes don't look at things negatively enough; what usually happens is, their biases inform their beliefs, regardless of facts. Me, I have my biases. I just try to compensate for them in my evaluations of things.
And I hope you're right. It's true. They aren't used to playing together.