Golden Boy Promotions has turned what appeared to be a four-man lightweight tournament into an eight-man affair, adding a first-round fight between former world champion Joel Casamayor and former titleholder Julio Diaz, according to Dan Rafael.
So the first round matchups for "Lightweight Lightning" are:
Joel Casamayor (36-4-1, 22 KO) v. Julio Diaz (36-4, 26 KO)
Michael Katsidis (24-2, 20 KO) v. Jesus Chavez (44-4, 30 KO)
Edwin Valero (24-0, 24 KO) v. Antonio Pitalua (46-3, 40 KO)
Jorge Barrios (47-4-1, 34 KO) v. Carlos Hernandez (43-7-1, 24 KO)
This is clearly not a seeded setup, as there's no way Barrios would be fighting Hernandez. Casamayor and Diaz are the two best fighters in the tournament.
I'm also wondering if past the first round, when they have to make semifinal matchups, if all the fighters are going to agree to what the promoters want. They could run into some quibbling along the way. I have my doubts, for instance, that Casamayor, cocky as he is, will really want another piece of Katsidis, who almost beat him. I have my doubts anyone is itching to fight Valero or Pitalua. Golden Boy better have some really iron-clad contracts set up for this stuff.
All that said, it should be a hell of a show.
Update to add this bit from Rafael's chat:
Joel (NY): Dan, great to see Casamayor added to the Lightweight Lightning, any idea how the brackets will break down after theres a winner from each fight?
Dan Rafael: (12:38 PM ET ) Depends on who wins. If Valero wins, it's unlikely he will remain in the tournament.
Erik (Atlanta, Ga.): Can you elaborate more on why if Valero wins he won't stay in the tournament please.
Dan Rafael: (12:42 PM ET ) Because he is with Top Rank, not Golden Boy like the rest of the fighters, and Top Rank may have other plans for him. He's only on this card because Golden Boy is involved with Pitalua and is working with Ricardo Maldonado, the Mexican promoter who won the rights to Valero-Pitalua at a purse bid. Valero might stay in though depending on the deal.