I'm sure you know the type, coming to the party to pluck the feathers off all the birds. We're in the after-party phase of 2012, and mostly this post is filled with party-worthy news below about fights in the works, or at least fights being discussed. Some of those fights even involve the fighters we just mentioned in the just-completed Quick Jabs for the week, which you should read if you haven't yet.
Then, we'll talk about the men in the headline, as well as Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez, Roman Gonzalez and yet others.
Round And Round
Floyd Mayweather seems lined up with a welterweight showdown with Robert Guerrero in May, on a card he would share with junior middleweight Saul Alvarez vs. Austin Trout. I can see the first happening more easily than the second; Mayweather-Guerrero makes a certain amount of sense, because who else is he gonna fight? Not Alvarez, apparently. Not Timothy Bradley, I wouldn't expect, given the different promoters involved. Guerrero's ranked as a top welterweight by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and he's got a good-guy story to contrast with Mayweather's villainy. Alvarez-Trout also makes total sense from a competition standpoint, and depending on how things work out, could even crown a new lineal TBRB junior middleweight champ. But I bet Golden Boy really would prefer to keep Alvarez away from Trout, a tricky boxer who's already knocked off a guy GBP didn't want to put in with him, Miguel Cotto. To their credit, Alvarez's team is saying they want Trout but not Cotto, which I would expect to be GBP's preference.
Juan Manuel Marquez keeps saying "not so fast, I haven't made up my mind" vis-a-vis a welterweight Manny Pacquiao rematch in the first half of 2013, or a quintmatch or whatever it would be. Pacquiao keeps saying, per the Quick Jabs mention of his health issues, that he's fine and wants the rematch. I couldn't blame Marquez for walking away here because he's reached the career goal he wanted more than any other in beating Pacquiao, but I still bet he'll have trouble saying "no" to all that money.
TQBR Fighter of the Year and junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire said he'll expect Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux to submit to random, advanced drug testing if he fights them, and we've gotten to the point with all these performance enhancing drug scares that I don't mind such demands where I once did. Mares and Rigo both have said, sure, let's do it. Good on them. And as much as I like Mares and Donaire saying they'll try to get their promoters to make the fight, we know Top Rank (Donaire) doesn't want to do business with Golden Boy (Mares), to the point that Top Rank's Bob Arum is saying he'll only make the fight if they can pay GBP to step aside, which is in my view an unacceptable demand when GBP says it's willing to co-promote. Not that GBP wants to deal with Top Rank all that bad; they keep talking up Mares vs. bantamweight Leo Santa Cruz. Donaire-Rigo and Mares-Santa Cruz are both terrific fights, but they are not the fight we most want to see, i.e. Donaire-Mares. And 99 out of 100 times when there's a promoter-fighter disagreement over an opponent, a fighter falls in line with what his promoter wants, sadly.
Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez is also demanding advanced drug testing for a fall rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., and said that Chavez is scared of such tests. Chavez has taken recent Martinez remarks about how Chavez doesn't deserve a rematch as indicating that Martinez is scared. I don't think anyone is scared of anything much here. Chavez keeps getting busted with chemicals in his system, so anyone who has any kind of economic leverage whatsoever is going to ask for such drug testing, and Chavez ought to agree to them because of it. Also, Martinez saying Chavez doesn't deserve a rematch is about trying to exploit that leverage, or at least keep people talking about the rematch. I still expect the rematch to go down, either way.
With Carl Froch-Mikkel Kessler II apparently falling apart (Kessler has gotten hard to make deals with these days, huh?) and Andre Ward-Kelly Pavlik falling apart due to an injury to champ Ward, the super middleweight division is in flux. A match Froch and mandatory belt challenger Adonis Stevenson looks like it's going to go to purse bid. I like Froch-Stevenson -- Stevenson can punch super-hard, and Froch can dish and take -- even if I like it less than Froch-Kessler II, and while both men want it in their respective countries (Great Britain, Canada) I think it ought to be on British soil given the experience/popularity gap, so here's hoping Froch's side wins the purse bid. Pavlik is in demand from both Lucian Bute and Arthur Abraham, and while both fights work for me, I have a hankering still for Pavlik-Abraham from back in the days when it was just about the best fight that could be made in the sport, even though it no longer is. I'm nostalgic, I guess. Bute can fight light heavyweight Jean Pascal, maybe, who wants to face Bute, although dammit I also still want to see Pascal-Chad Dawson II (Dawson, the most promiscuous trainer-switcher in boxing, could be again maybe switching trainers, says a coy person).
Heavyweights: Wladimir Klitschko-Alexander Povetkin could be up next for the world's top heavyweight (Wlad) and a challenger who had skittered away something awful a couple years back (Povetkin). February, it could happen by, even. Things have been kind of quiet since news of the possibility first surfaced a few weeks ago, though, so it either won't be in February or it won't happen at all, I'd surmise. Also on the early 2013 heavyweight calendar is Tomasz Adamek-Kubrat Pulev for March or April, assuming the fight happens, as I would assume. I even am interested in it; Pulev is an up-and-comer, Adamek a reliable old warrior even if I'm bitter that he's gotten two decisions in a row that I didn't think he deserved.
And little dudes: Hernan Marquez wants a rematch with fellow flyweight Brian Viloria, which is bold and commendable and it was a good fight the first time around, but Viloria won conclusively and I'd rather see him do other things, among them toppling the weakest of the current lineal champions, Toshiyuki Igarashi, as Viloria has said he wants to do. Marquez has also talked about fighting Milan Milendo, and that'd be fine with me. Roman Gonzalez, whom I'd love to see fight Marquez one day before going after Viloria, is talking about fighting fellow junior flyweight Kazuto Ioka, which I think would be a hell of a nice match-up. Lastly amongst the littles, junior flyweight Johnriel Casimero will fight Luis Rios over the next three months, which is mainly worth mentioning because Sampson Boxing won the purse bid for the fight, pointng to that company making more in-roads to straight fight promotion as opposed to just Sampson Lewkovicz pwning everyone on talent scouting as a manager.
Jean Marc Mormeck said he will retire if he loses to cruiserweight Krzysztof Wlodarczyk next month. I hope he means it. I don't mind Mormeck making one last play at cruiserweight, but he's overdue for wrapping up his career.
Erik Morales is also overdue for wrapping up his career, but he's talking about a farewell fight in Mexico in early 2013. That's a move that makes a measure of sense for the ol' junior welterweight.
Marcos Maidana wants welterweight Paulie Malignaggi, not junior welterweight and fellow Argentinian Lucas Matthysse. Fans want the opposite. Malignaggi's got other plans anyway (crappy plans, to face Shane Mosley) and Matthysse is up Jan. 26 against Mike Dallas, Jr., as opposed to original opponent Hank Lundy, who's being sued by Boxing 360, which has been quite the litigious outfit. For all I know they're in the right, it just seems like they're in the news for suing people more than putting on fights and the like.
(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene; ESPN; FightHype)
Mayweather-Guerrero does very little for me. I've heard almost every possible argument for it, and some of them are fine. I just don't have much of a hankering for it. A year ago, when Guerrero was calling out Mayweather and Pacquiao (though Floyd in particular), the vast majority of people I'd heard from literally laughed it off. I'm not sure how beating Aydin (with much trouble) and Berto change that. I wasn't all that up for Mayweather-Ortiz, and I'm not very up for this either. Funnily enough, both beat Berto to be magically considered a good fight for Floyd, despite the fact that Berto isn't all that highly-regarded in the skills or even overall quality department. If a guy is going to fight once a year, I expect more.
I've said it so many times already, but if Donaire leaves 122 lbs. without having faced either Mares or Rigondeaux, both of which sound fairly doable as far as the TR vs. GBP thing goes, that would be a terrible shame. Both are very blatantly chasing him up weight divisions, and both would be considered great opponents for him. Donaire's on a good run, and I've warmed to him a bit in the last 18 or so months, but I'd be disappointed.