Ah, there's so much more to talk about right now. Not really big stuff, but enough that I want to take little shots at or discuss briefly.
Dan Rafael's Notebook contained a few more neat tidbits, the big leading story being Bob Arum working out an agreement with Azteca America for a new series to sort of replace the departed Telefuture series, Solo Boxeo.
Already on tap for the series are the following bouts:
Cesar Canchila v. Giovanni Segura II (February 27): This is a fight that absolutely was good enough to warrant a rematch, even though I felt Canchila clearly won the first time around. With no better opponent for either man at 108 pounds, why not? They put on a great show the first time around, and here's hoping they do it again.
Monty Meza-Clay v. Jorge Solis (January 30): This is an IBF featherweight eliminator. Solis' only loss came to Manny Pacquiao in '07 on Top Rank pay-per-view. Meza-Clay is a fine fighter. Good matchup.
There are other shows in the works, with names like Urbano Antillon, Orlando Salido, Jose Luis Castillo, and others involved. It's already a good-looking series for the diehards. Thank God someone stepped up to make something happen. Losing Wednesday Night Fights and Solo Boxeo was quite a blow. Thanks, Bob.
Dan also says that O'Neil Bell has pulled out of a heavyweight fight for "personal reasons." Hey, there's an early runner for shocker of the year, O'Neil Bell pulling out of a fight. It's too bad the last couple of years of his career have been filled with things like this, like the time he left his promoters and ESPN hanging without notice, because he was a hell of a fighter. I'm also not trying to be outright disrespectful, either. I hope everything's good with O'Neil and that we see him refocused and back in action soon.
Former Canadian star Dave Hilton, Jr., whose career and positive press vanished when he was convicted of sexually abusing his two daughters in 2001, has been acquitted on new charges of of sexual assault, assault and assault causing bodily harm against a woman when the 48-year old woman dropped the case. As far as I'm concerned, I hope this is the last we ever hear of Hilton.
Geoff "The Professor" Poundes of Ringside Report has this to say about Hatton-Pacquiao:
Manny Pacquiao is going to get his ass-whipped by Ricky Hatton. Oh yes, that’s what I said – Hatton will win inside distance in a fight that may not even be close, if the Hitman turns up fit, healthy and ready for action. ... I say it because I worry for Pacquiao’s ability to take Hatton’s body shots, which are as perfectly constructed as any practitioner in the game today, and will carry the kind of weight that Manny will never have experienced. I worry having reviewed the tape of Manny’s early losses to Torrecampo and Singsurat, both 3rd round knockouts and affected with, yes, you guessed it, body blows. Sure, Pacquiao was younger, smaller, less effective, and rumor has it that he was battling his own weight issues in those contests. One thing is for sure – Floyd Mayweather, SR., will not miss the opportunity to highlight perceived weaknesses in his own personal odyssey to uproot Freddie Roach as the world’s finest coach.
I'm not really commenting on it because I agree or disagree, but because a lot of the Pacquiao fans have gone on a rampage against Mr. Poundes for having an opinion, which is sadly a fairly common thing in most fan circles, particularly one as rabid, dedicated and in many ways outstanding as Pacquiao's. It's been sort of a hot-button article, so I thought I'd point you in that direction.
I also think he's wrong, but who cares?
Speaking of Freddie Roach, he's on SI.com saying that soon-to-be boxer Andrei Arlovski (again, I'll believe it when I see it) will knock out Fedor Emelianenko at the Affliction MMA PPV later this month. Fedor, for those who don't know, is perhaps the most dominant MMA fighter of all-time and world-regarded as the best heavyweight fighter ever in the rather short history of the sport.
Freddie's interest in MMA seems confined to the guys in the sport he's trained in boxing rings (a pretty impressive little list, to be sure), but I love his sly comments on the Fedor-Arlovski fight: "If I saw [Fedor] on the street, I wouldn't be scared of him. But I'd be wrong."
Retired star Genaro Hernandez is currently battling a cancerous tumor in his brain, and will be honored at a fund-raiser on January 17 in San Bernadino, California. We send our best wishes to Genaro, as well as our sincere hope for a full recovery.
On a final, sad note, female lightweight champion Jisselle Salandy was tragically killed in an automobile accident on January 4, and we at Bad Left Hook send our best wishes and condolences to her family and friends. Hers was a life ended much too soon.