Tomato Cans: May 11, 2008

  • With Timothy Bradley upending Junior Witter to win the WBC's version of the 140-pound title, the immediate question, as always, is, "What's next for both guys?" It could be a rematch. Bradley indicated that he'd be willing to do an immediate rematch with the former champion, which is manly of him but may be hard to accommodate. Bradley and his promoters would undoubtedly want the fight in the States, and finding a venue might not be easy unless it's done essentially in Bradley's backyard, and even then it would need more than just that fight to do a strong crowd at any respectable house. One thing is for sure: anyone still hoping for Hatton-Witter is out of luck. Junior Witter burst his own bubble on that one, and he seems like he knows it. Bradley also says he'd love to fight Ricky Hatton -- who wouldn't?
  • One more little tidbit on Junior Witter. Kudos to the beaten man for saying he won't entertain the thought of retiring, and for sounding like he actually wants to fight and it's because he thinks he's still good. Enough with the retirement talk from everyone on the planet. Whatever happend to going back to the drawing board like a man?
  • Judah_mediumI'm sure many others feel the same way, and I want to say I'm sort of glad that the Shane Mosley-Zab Judah scrap is off. My Comcast bill is 50 bones lighter thanks to Zab losing to his bathroom. If HBO can find a way to get it on World Championship Boxing, that'd be great, but I'm not holding my breath. However, as much as I'll occasionally slam Zab because I just don't like him very much, I don't think we have any reason to think he's not being honest about this, or that he wouldn't take a makeup date if they can find one. Why wouldn't he fight Mosley? I think Sugar Shane would beat him handily, but I do not believe Zab is in any way afraid of the fight.
  • Let's talk big hits to one's cable or satellite bill. The rematch between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Oscar de la Hoya will be fought at 150 pounds, which means there will be no title on the line. Oscar says he was down to 148 at the end of his training camp, but doesn't want to drop down to 147 for a fight with Mayweather, and wouldn't discuss it any further. Floyd weighed 150 for their 154-pound title showdown last year, so what good does Oscar really think he's doing himself here? Oscar is an enigma in many ways, likable and totally not at the same time. This fight and the lame hype job behind it are examples of the latter. Oscar is not good enough to beat Floyd, but he'll try again anyway.
  • Top Rank's June PPV headlined by Manny Pacquiao stepping up to 135 pounds to take on WBC titleholder David Diaz looks awful so far. With their Versus contract drying up, head honcho Bob Arum is now subjecting us to paying to see Tye Fields fight, which is a load and a half. Here's hoping Monte Barrett ends the Fields sham once and for all, though I have to think Tye will muscle past the veteran. Arum is tentatively planning to have Humberto Soto and Bernabe Concepcion fighting on the card, and it looks as though WBO featherweight titleholder Steven Luevano will again piggyback on a Pacquiao show, taking on Mario Santiago, who got schooled by Hector Velazquez last year. Arum and Co. are really putting a lot of stock into Pacquiao's drawing power, because David Diaz is no star.
  • Greek junior welterweight Mike Arnaoutis took Lanard Tyner's "0" on Friday Night Fights, potentially putting him back into the mix. At the very least, he's a step closer to getting back into the mix. Tyner had faced awful competition and was outclassed against Arnaoutis, who is still trying to make his way back from two defeats at the hands of Ricardo Torres and Kendall Holt in 2006-07. Arnaoutis gave the fight away against Torres but was terrible against Holt, and I wasn't sure he'd ever really recover from that performance. With Bradley shaking the division up, who knows?
  • Vernon-forrest-wbc-champ_mediumIt boggles the mind that Showtime considers the Vernon Forrest-Sergio Mora fight on June 7 the headliner of their two-fight bill that night, with the Carlos Quintana-Paul Williams rematch underneath. Poll 100 boxing fans on which fight they'd rather see, and as long as none of them are related to Forrest, Mora, or a "Contender" promoter, you're going to get 100 people answering for Quintana-Williams II. In some ways, though, it's great. Showtime will show the good fight first, leaving us all free to switch over to HBO's card that night, featuring Kelly Pavlik-Gary Lockett and a potential barnburner between 122-pound titlist Daniel Ponce de Leon and Juan Manuel Lopez.
  • The June 21 Boxing After Dark is shaping up fairly nicely, though it doesn't hold a candle to the May 17 card, which should be outstanding, and I think there's potential for an upset in two of those three fights (I could see Kirkland and Angulo falling, for the record, but not Gamboa). Andre Berto will moidalize Miki Rodriguez in the main event, but the heavyweight prospect battle between Cristobal Arreola and Chazz Witherspoon is intriguing. It's nice to see them fighting someone who has a chance at beating them. The current rumor, substantiated by Cedric Kushner (grain of salt), is that the winner of Arreola-Witherspoon will fight David Tua down the road on HBO. I love the Tuaman, but the idea that Arreola or Witherspoon need to prove something to land a fight with Tua is laughable. Tua could still knock out anyone at any moment, but he's been fighting the likes of Saul Montana, Cerrone Fox, Robert Hawkins, and Maurice Wheeler. He hasn't had a fight of any worth since 2003, when he drew with Hasim Rahman. We're talking five years. Arreola and Witherspoon are both more relevant in the current heavyweight picture.
  • John Duddy has fired trainer Don Turner and hired ex-Jermain Taylor second Pat Burns. Good for Duddy, maybe he'll learn to stop leading with his face.
  • One of the conditions for the Samuel Peter-Vitali Klitschko fight in October is that Peter gets to take a tune-up fight before then. Don King is trying to work his special brand of magic and get Andrew Golota in there for what would be, I assume, a last shot at the crown. Some might hate the idea, but I think there's enough left in Golota's fists that he might just be able to knock Peter out. I wouldn't pay to see him try, but I'd watch it. I think Golota has actually gained heart in his old age.
  • Former super flyweight titlist Martin Castillo informed his promoter that he wanted to retire, was told to think it over for a few days, did, and then stuck to his guns. The 31-year old Castillo was demolished in February by Fernando Montiel on the Pavlik-Taylor II undercard. Castillo was a damn good fighter who will be forgotten in time, just because that's the way it is. Never a superstar, but he'll be remembered by those that saw him fight. The only two losses on Alexander Munoz's record, to date, are both because of Castillo.
  • For anyone that's still paying attention to Mikkel Kessler, he'll be fighting Dimitri Sartison on June 21 in Copenhagen, and it might be for the WBA super middleweight "title," currently "held" by Anthony Mundine, who decided to fight Sam Soliman again instead of fighting Kessler. Sartison's record is 22-0 with 14 knockouts, but it's the 22-0 (14) of a guy that's done nothing more than the local rounds. Kessler should obliterate him. Carl Froch has called out Mikkel Kessler. I think Kessler would wail on Froch, too, to be fair. It's not that Kessler is any less of a good fighter, but his promotional team is a disgrace and I have a hard time caring about anything he does from this point on until he steps up and takes another big fight.
  • Post_mayorgavargas_medium Everyone wants to beat up Ricardo Mayorga. He's now been mentioned as an opponent for Jermain Taylor, Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto, all of whom would have their way with the brawler. I still love Mayorga, but I don't think he can comfortably make 147 anymore, and a fight with Taylor at any catchweight possible or even a full 168 is a remarkably absurd idea. But I do want to see Mayorga back in the ring. How about Mayorga against Kermit Cintron, who lost his promotional deal following his second defeat at the hands of Antonio Margarito?
  • If anyone is counting on Juan Lazcano to show up in Manchester and roll over for hometown hero Ricky Hatton, keep your money. There is a certain amount of danger in this fight for Hatton, and it's like people are simply chalking this up to a Hatton win and he'll move forward and fight Paulie Malignaggi in Newark later this year (the MSG plan has apparently been scrapped). Lazcano has been out of the ring for over a year, but he's a very talented fighter that took Vivian Harris to the deep waters last February, and made Harris fight in a way he did not want to fight. It was quite a performance in the loss by Lazcano, who still looked strong, still looked entirely there mentally, and was simply beaten by a more physically gifted fighter. We've been over the riddle that is Vivian Harris enough, but Harris should've steamrolled Lazcano. Harris should probably be a world champion. He's not, though, and it's because a guy like Lazcano or Junior Witter can always make him fight out of his own comfort zone and take him to the woodshed as a result. Is Hatton a physical specimen like Harris is? He absolutely is not. It's going to be more than a simple tune-up. When's the last time Hatton really looked great? 2005 against Carlos Maussa? He struggled against Luis Collazo, failed to dent Juan Urango, smoked a phantom shell of Jose Luis Castillo, and then got waxed by Mayweather. This fight could be a lot closer than many are expecting, I really believe that.
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