Victor Ortiz will return to the ring on December 12 in Chicago. A rematch between Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi will headline the show. (Photo via www.boxnews.com.ua)
Dan Rafael's Notebook is up, and while the big stories are slow, he does have some good news.
The Juan Diaz-Paulie Malignaggi rematch for December 12 looks like a go, as Rafael says it's close to being finalized. Golden Boy is already putting together an undercard, and featured on HBO will be Victor Ortiz's return to the ring after his June stoppage loss to Marcos Maidana. Ortiz took a lot of criticism for quitting in that fight, and has since tried to say his words were "misunderstood," but they weren't. He might not have meant what he said, but he wasn't misunderstood. He doesn't get to pawn the blame onto other people for not "getting" what he meant by, "I don't deserve to be getting hit like that."
Anyway, Ortiz will face Antonio Diaz, a guy Zab Judah turned down for the Mayweather-Marquez card, with a 144-pound weight limit. Ortiz has fought at 140 and Diaz is a welter by trade, so they'll meet in the middle. Diaz is basically a gatekeeper at this point, but Ortiz took such a shellacking from Maidana in their tremendous war that he'll have to prove he's still got the same promise he used to possess. Diaz is legit enough if not top-flight.
As for Maidana, he returns on November 21 in Santa Fe, Argentina, against Panamanian William Gonzalez, who has lost three of his last five. Just goes to show that in boxing, it's certainly far more about who you know, who you're connected to, and who promotes you than it is just about anything else. Maidana made for a very exciting fight and a talk-of-boxing upset in June, and he's fighting on a show in South America again with the interim WBA title belt at stake, while Diaz jumps right back on the HBO gravy train thanks to his association with Golden Boy. It may not be fair, but I'm also not making a big stink about it. Just sayin', that's all. And to be fair, HBO did look into getting Maidana on their November 28 card, it just didn't happen.