A Disney PR outreach has made it so this blog (like others) is able to give away a free copy of the "Real Steel" Blu-ray/DVD combo pack -- a film I reviewed mostly warmly here -- to one of its readers. How can you snag your copy via TQBR?
A poetry contest. Yes, a poetry contest. Write a poem about anything "Real Steel"-related. Maybe you write a poem about Hugh Jackman. Maybe you write a poem about Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Maybe you write a poem about the movie itself. Basically, whatever I deem the best poem -- whether it rhymes or not is up to you, although I suspect it'll increase your chances of winning if it does -- gets the combo. You have from now until the end of the day Sunday, EST. I'll announce the winner in this space, and that person will then have to give me his or her contact information so I can get the package delivered.
If you don't win the contest, you can buy your copy of "Real Steel" at the stores Jan. 24.
If you want to skip the poetry contest and get right to the news of the week -- from the latest, ceaseless, fruitless Floyd Mayweather, Jr.-Manny Pacquiao posturing to the conundrums posed already by NBC Sports' new boxing series -- that's after the jump.
Main Events has done a pretty decent job of salvaging its first NBC Sports card. Apparently, heavyweight Eddie Chambers knew about his injury for a while but didn't disclose it immediately, which is just rude. Anyhow, I found this article very interesting about how Main Events' Kathy Duva sold Comcast on the idea of the series -- basically, it's about them buying a stake in the "next big thing." I wonder if she hasn't overpromised. Time will tell...
Speaking of Main Events, heavyweight Tomasz Adamek has not definitively left the promoter. He just doesn't like the current terms of the latest deal on the table. Let's hope these two work it out. It's been a highly beneficial partnership for both Main Events and Adamek, whose Adamek-based shows in the Newark area where Main Events is in control of the Prudential Center have been a big smash...
Remember Michael Welch, the WBA supervisor at the center of the whole weird "mystery man" semi-scandal for Amir Khan vs. Lamont Peterson? Yeah, he's gone missing. So that's terrific. Also apparently he's "depressed" about this whole thing. Don't be depressed, Michael. Just talk about what happened and clear the air. It'll be a good thing to do no matter what...
Epix has decided, more or less, that it loves heavyweights. It must be working for them or they wouldn't keep picking up Europe-based heavyweight fights. Via news release, they're picking up the next two fights featuring the Klitschko brothers, plus the Alexander Povetkin-Marco Huck showdown that figures to be better than the Klitschko fight; all three fights are on back-to-back weekends next month. I guess this shows there's some appetite for the heavies in America, if not enough of an appetite for HBO or Showtime to stay consistently involved...
Trainer Freddie Roach keeps showing he's never too busy for new clients. His latest is junior welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov, the Friday Night Fights staple who's long on excitement and middle-sized on talent. Roach can maybe get the best out of that talent, unless he gives Provodnikov short shrift and Ruslan runs off, which does happen sometimes with such a crowded stable.
Round And Round
It's pointless to freak out every time there's a new wrinkle in the Mayweather-Pacquiao welterweight fight negotiations, because they aren't really negotiations. It's just two groups trying to find a way not to fight the other and send all the blame in the opposite direction, too. So, OK. Mayweather called Pacquiao personally. That makes it seem like he's tried. Except for Mayweather said that he told Pacquiao he wouldn't get a 50/50 split, which means that the fight almost certainly won't happen because of that. Then, on the other side, you have Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum saying he's trying to get the judge to delay Mayweather's domestic violence-inspired jail sentence later so that the Pacquiao fight can happen in late May or early June. Except he knows that Mayweather has said he is obligated to fight May 5, by contract. You can say all you want that Mayweather shouldn't have locked in that date an expected Pacquiao to go along with that plan, and you'd be right, but it's also clear that if Arum is trying to get the judge to delay the sentence, he's only doing it so he LOOKS like he's trying to make the fight. One last wrinkle: Mayweather's right-hand man Leonard Ellerbe said they want no part of an outdoor stadium in May, the idea proposed by Arum; and Ellerbe also said that Pacquiao has agreed to drug testing in a way that is satisfactory to the Mayweather camp, which should put an end to all the hubbub from Mayweather fanboys that Pacquiao hasn't agreed to the kind of drug testing Mayweather's side wants.
Whom, then, might Mayweather and Pacquiao fight next? Mayweather says he's most interested in fighting middleweight champ Sergio Martinez at 150 pounds, a fight that doesn't thrill me because I think Sergio will be too drained at that weight, no matter what his team claims. Sergio also would probably have to pull out of his March fight against Matthew Macklin to be ready by May 5. Mayweather doesn't want Miguel Cotto, because he considers Cotto to be Pacquiao's "leftovers." Pacquiao is fine with reheating his own leftovers, though, apparently, but only if Cotto weighs 147 for the fight, something that strikes me as unlikely given that Cotto has been at 154 for a while now.
Showtime isn't on board with a Lucian Bute-Carl Froch fight, according to the promoter of Froch, because they want Bute to face an American. I know which American I want him to face, specifically -- Andre Ward -- but Ward sounds disinterested. Absent that fight, Bute-Froch is the best bout that can be made in the super middleweight division. I understand Showtime being interested in American dudes, but I wish they would give Bute-Froch a thumbs-up unless they can convince Ward to face Bute. Ward, instead, is being lured by Mikkel Kessler in a useless rematch of the one-sided drubbing Ward gave Kessler. We'll see if he takes it; the money might be too good not to. Meanwhile, Arthur Abraham is going to stay at 168 after all, apparently enticed by Robert Stieglitz' version of the title. That's a good fight for Germany and probably a good one in the ring, too.
Vic Darchinyan is in the upper, upper, upper crust of fearless boxers today -- he'll take on anyone, anytime, really, unless you blame him for the failure to make a rematch with Nonito Donaire. His latest bid is for a bantamweight title on Japanese soil on April 6 for less money than he could otherwise make, against Shinsuke Yamanaka. I don't think Darchinyan's really a bantamweight, but I guess he does. Gotta love Vic's arrogance.
(Round and Round sources: BoxingScene; ESPN; news releases)