Saturday, December 15, 2007

Last Week In Boxing, 12/15/07: More Mayweather-Hatton Aftermath, And Too Much Jumping The Gun?

For no apparent reason, the beautiful photo above of a kangaroo punching a strange creature as someone in a basketball jersey looks on has been horribly disfigured by You know, you try to give the people want they want, and the people are unanimous: That picture is the only thing I really have going for me. So I'm upset about that.

Boxing's hit the end-of-the-year doldrums, so it doesn't have much going for it right now, either, but there still are a few things to talk about, so let's get to it.

  • Over at, we've handed out our year-end awards already. Maybe we're jumping the gun, but as I said, we reserve the right to alter them. We gave out awards for Fighter of the Year; Knockout of the Year; Round of the Year; and Fight of the Year. Then I gave out a roundup of awards, some serious and some not. Although I stick by my pick for "Best Fight Between A Man And A Bear." Where possible, we included clips of our picks, so you can get caught up on plenty of good boxing in 2007.
  • Dear Bernard Hopkins: All of us want you to knock off the racism. Everyone just wants you to fight "white boy" Joe Calzaghe. If it was promotional bluster, it still isn't cool. If the fight happens (at light heavyweight, 175 lbs.), you may very well find yourself unable to "go back to the projects" because if Jermain Taylor outpointed you simply by being busier, wait until you get a load of Calzaghe's perpetual motion.
  • More Floyd Mayweather, Jr.-Ricky Hatton aftermath: Mayweather encouraged Hatton to retire in light of his loss in their welterweight (147 lbs.) showdown, fearing Hatton could end up like, say, a Fernando Vargas who fought in too many wars. I say: Nah. Hatton's nowhere near that yet, and could still have some nice fights at 140 lbs. Maybe without his trainer, Billy Graham. If he looks bad in his next fight, I might jump on the "Hatton retire" bandwagon. As it is, there are few good 140-pound bouts Hatton could/might make. I like the idea of a bout with Paulie Malignaggi, since it would sell out Madison Square Garden with both British Hatton fans and NYC Malignaggi fans, plus the contrast of styles would likely deliver fireworks. I'd like to see Hatton versus fellow countryman Junior Witter eventually, but Witter's style could give Hatton headaches, and there's personal animosity there, so I doubt that'll happen; if Hatton takes it, I'll be very impressed. Hatton might want a rematch with Mayweather, but that's pride talking. It'd be exactly the same. Manny Pacquiao seems intent on constantly moving up in weight, and there's been some talk of a Hatton fight. I'd prefer Manny stay at 130 lbs., but I can't deny the money-making appeal of this one. And the previously discussed fight with Oscar De La Hoya just shouldn't happen, given the size differential. Mayweather-De La Hoya II is more feasible, but I'm simply not interested. I want Mayweather in against the following, in this order: Miguel Cotto; Shane Mosley; and if he truly wants to do this middleweight (160 lbs.) experiment, Winky Wright. If he does all that, and wants to keep fighting, I'd be OK with a De La Hoya rematch, or a fight with Vernon Forrest, or young welterweight gun Paul Williams, or welterweight vet Antonio Margarito.
  • Larry Holmes finally made it into the Hall of Fame. What took so freaking long?
  • There's going to be a Rocky Marciano biopic. I don't see much in producer Morris S. Levy's credits to ensure it'll be as good as "Ray," his ambition, but maybe Yahoo! Movies is sucky.
  • A few bouts of moderate importance over the weekend. Hot young fighters Jorge Linares (featherweight, 126 lbs.) and Edwin Valero (junior lightweight, 130 lbs.) won rather easily, according to the news accounts, with Valero demolishing his no-name opponent to continue his gaudy KO streak and Linares scoring what Bad Left Hook called a candidate for "knockout of the year." Meanwhile, Alex Arthur (junior lightweight) had an unexpectedly tough night in what Eastsideboxing called a candidate for "fight of the year." Maybe we did give out those awards too soon.
  • I could hardly be madder about Don King standing in the way of a sure-fire 2008 "fight of the year" candidate. That relic needs to get out of the way of a February lightweight (135 lbs.) showdown between Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis. I don't care about the contract he has with Diaz; King lost the purse bid to promote the fight to Golden Boy fair and square.
  • Boxing historian Hank Kaplan died.
  • Evander Holyfield and long-time trainer Ronnie Shields have parted ways. Maybe this'll go one step further toward convincing the thick-headed former heavyweight great that it just isn't going to happen for him, but I doubt it.
  • What's with Kelly Pavlik and Jermain Taylor already looking for what's next after their February rematch? This fight (at a catchweight of 166 lbs.) is too important and dangerous to both. Sure, Pavlik would ruin John Duddy in a big-money meeting. And sure, Jermain could make a lot of dough against Calzaghe. But, I mean, come on. Focus, boys.
  • Boxing's week ahead: Joshua Clottey and Shamone Alvarez in a welterweight fight is about the only thing on the ledger, for Dec. 20, on Vs. Network. I don't know Alvarez, but I like Clottey -- he's a tough, skilled, hard-hitting guy who was a hand injury away from upsetting Margarito this year. If he wins, he's in line for a title fight with Kermit Cintron or maybe even Cotto in March, so it's a not-insignificant bout.

Nothing says "class" like a man in a tuxedo and gold chain, and there's nothing more I want in a landlord than someone who shows up to my door in boxing gloves, but "The Easton Assassin" is extremely Hall of Fame-worthy.

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