Dan Rafael's Notebook is one of our most invaluable sources for boxing news and solid rumors, and if you don't already read it every week, you should. Since he always breaks at least three or four interesting notes every week, let's just take a gander at what he's saying this week and talk about the news.
We'll also take a few bits of information from his weekly Insider chat, another recommended read.
Dan Rafael: Lou DiBella says he's talking with Showtime about a multi-fight deal with Jermain Taylor. DiBella also says he's had conversations with Seminole Warriors about a Taylor-Glen Johnson fight at a 171-pound catch weight.
Taylor-Johnson is an interesting fight, but since Taylor and HBO are no longer contracted to work together, why not shop the Froch-Taylor fight to Showtime, a network that would likely love to have it? I'm sure DiBella and Showtime have discussed that, but I mean it should be a top priority. You do have to keep options open, and Taylor-Johnson is a nice fallback. But Froch-Taylor is a fight that I'd really love to see right now. Taylor dominated Jeff Lacy, and Froch's fight with Jean Pascal made me think more of both of them. As I see it, we find out how for real Froch is, since Taylor is better than Pascal, and we also find out how good Taylor is right now, since Froch is a lot better than Lacy.
Dan Rafael: The Kelly Pavlik-Marco Antonio Rubio fight will likely sell out the Chevrolet Center in Pavlik's hometown, Youngstown, Ohio. Capacity for the venue is 7,000ish for boxing, and the venue's all-time attendance record is 5,500 for a Carrie Underwood concert. In much bigger attendance news, tickets for the economically-priced Antonio Margarito-Shane Mosley fight on Jan. 24 in Los Angeles is close to sold out, and that's an 18,000-seat venue.
All the "who says boxing is dead!" talk is sort of...well, let's go ahead and get into it.
I am someone who often says that any "boxing is dead/dying" talk is moronic. It is, because it's way off-base. But I also hope I've conveyed, with many of you, the fact that there are genuine problems in boxing that seem to be getting addressed a bit in this first quarter of 2009, which so far looks spectacular, fiscally responsible, and fan-friendly. One of the things is ticket prices, another is fight location. Enough with placing fights in Las Vegas that ARE NOT GOING TO SELL IN LAS VEGAS. Gary Shaw has booked Dawson-Tarver II for the same empty building it played last time (The Palms), which sort of makes you want to pull your hair out. It's as if Shaw doesn't care about the most logical location for that fight, which is Florida (Tarver's home state), Connecticut (Dawson's), or New York (a fight city on the east coast). When Dawson-Tarver II is another bomb at the Palms, who can Shaw blame? Did the venue have an option for a second fight and decide, for whatever reason, to pick it up?
The Pavlik sellout was a given, it's not a big building and he's the pride of the city. Margarito-Mosley, though, proves that if you just price the f-ing tickets so that more real fight fans can go to the event without weighing the pros and cons of paying their rent or car insurance, and you put the fight in a location that makes sense for the fanbases of both fighters, a fight will sell. It will sell big. There are boxing fans everywhere in this country. It's not a truly mainstream sport, but that can be fixed pretty quickly, and ESPN is doing their part of late.
It seems like the world wants boxing to be a big sport. The promoters have to keep up these good practices.
Dan Rafael: There's talk of a Paulie Malignaggi-Mike Alvarado fight on the Feb. 21 MSG portion of Top Rank's PPV.
This is about the 32nd fight that's been proposed for this undercard. Notable flameouts are Clottey-Cintron, Peterson-Diaz, Calderon-someone (not dead but probably ain't gonna happen), etc., etc.
Malignaggi-Alvarado is kind of intriguing if you're at all a Malignaggi fan, which I am. He's a tough kid and wants to be a player in this sport, but he's fighting time and inevitability as far as his hands go. He's also always in an uphill battle based on the fact that he can't hurt anybody. Alvarado is a solid fighter and is ready to move up, or at least he has said repeatedly that he feels like he is.
Dan Rafael: Sycuan Promotions is looking to shop a potential Michael Katsidis-Julio Diaz fight, if Katsidis wins his upcoming Jan. 31 bout in the Philippines. The fight will be available for either ESPN2 or Versus to pick up.
Bring it the hell on. That'd be a great fight if Katsidis has decided that his boxing first approach against Juan Diaz is not going to work for him.
Dan Rafael: Featherweight titlist Steven Luevano is likely to fight Bernabe Concepcion as the co-feature to Lopez-Penalosa in April. Yuriorkis Gamboa will return on April 3, on Shobox.
Luevano-Concepcion is a nice enough fight, though Cameron Dunkin says Concepcion is just one of several options. I still wish we could get Luevano-Santiago II, but it looks pretty damn unlikely.
Dan Rafael: The BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., will play host to HBO's Feb. 14 triple-header.
About time that show got a venue. Here's hoping they can move the tickets. Nate Campbell being a Florida native should help.