Michael Sprott (right) may be looking at a fight against Roy Jones Jr. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
This one has to fall DEEP into the category of rumor, but Undisputed is reporting that Roy Jones Jr. is in talks to face the winner of the most recent Prizefighter Heavyweights, Michael Sprott. There might be a bit of legs to the rumors - I've heard a bit of rumbling on this from both camps, and Jones has been in the U.K. a lot lately as he's been opening up some gyms there. This would be Jones's second fight at heavyweight. Elsewhere, Jones has been reported as saying that he still wants to go after the Klitschko brothers and David Haye. Roy, please know when to say when. Don't forget that this is the version of Roy Jones who was recently knocked out by 185 pounder Danny Green within a round.
David Tua and Monte Barrett, who battled to a draw recently, will be fighting in a doubleheader in Aruba on December 4 against opponents to be named. If they both win against opponents who are likely to be less than fringe contenders, then they would rematch each other. Significantly, that rematch would be the last fight under Tua's Maori TV contract, which would make it much more likely that he could take a step back up in class, if he can show he has more left in the tank than it looked like he did the first time around against Barrett.
Dan Rafael appears to no longer be going with his notebook format, but his latest article (mostly focused on Kelly Pavlik) is still chock full of goodies. He mentions that a light heavyweight unification bout between Beibut Shumenov and Juergen Braehmer is close to being signed. If that gets made, expect to see some fireworks in a bout between two guys who don't like to take a backwards step. The winner would likely get stripped of one or both belts fairly quickly thereafter, as Gabriel Campillo is still waiting for his third shot at Shumenov, while Nathan Cleverly is the mandatory to face Braehmer. I suspect that either Campillo or Cleverly would be a favorite to beat either of the current titlists.
On December 17, Don King is putting together a fairly decent card in Miami. Headlining, Odlanier Solis will face Ray Austin in an elimintor for the right to face Vitali Klitschko. Also confirmed are that Guillermo Jones and Tavoris Cloud will be fighting on the undercard. Rather than making a title defense, Jones, who had gone two years between fights before his last bout in September, will move up to heavyweight for the fight, although it's unclear whether that move will be permanent. Cloud will be making a defense of his title against an opponent to be named. Yusaf Mack and Otis Griffin were the initial targets, but both have turned down the fight; don't expect to see a challenger any better than those two. Should he win, Cloud is also eyeing a fight against Chad Dawson for early next year. No TV has been announced for the Friday night card, although I wouldn't be shocked if it gets picked up as a FNF special, since it will take place after college football season ends and before bowl season starts.
Usually I stick to news over analysis in these pieces, but this is an especially good one. UK boxing expert Dave Oakes and Japanese boxing guru Sidney Boquiren have teamed up to write as in-depth of an analysis as you'll find about this weekend's biggest fight. It's worth the read. Also as a reminder, this is the first week of the next season of TBB's boxing picks game, so those of you who want to start with a fresh slate, head over there and make your picks.
Samuel Peter, who was dominated by Wladimir Klitschko his last time out, was released by Top Rank. This makes a fair amount of sense, as Top Rank really isn't in the heavyweight game, and with Odlanier Solis leaving the firm not long ago, he was the last significant one they had left. Peter says he's taking the rest of the year off and coming back next year. Don't be shocked if he signs with Don King, where it seems old heavyweights go to die. Morel, on the other hand, says he's excited to have signed a deal with Golden Boy. The interim bantamweight titlist might see more opportunities there - Top Rank has plenty of bantamweights, but either they're faded and bigger cash cows than Morel (Jorge Arce) or they have bigger fish to fry (Nonito Donaire, Fernando Montiel).
While we were reporting some doom and gloom in the Pacquiao training camp, this Filipino news source has a more optimistic take. Pacquiao went 11 rounds combined against Amir Khan, Glen Tapia and Michael Medina, and supposedly "rocked" all three of them in sparring while giving Tapia a bloody nose. It seems Pacquiao has picked things up in camp, and Roach is now happy with where things are headed.
In what seems like a banner year for boxing movies and tv shows, a new documentary about a gym has opened up to almost universally brilliant reviews. The film is a straight documentary - no bylines, no interviews, just pure observation cut in a way to make a point - but apparently gives a great look at a pretty average and bare bones boxing gym, Lord's Gym in Austin, Texas, home of Jesus Chavez (and dozens of lesser-known fighters). For those who haven't gone through intense boxing training before, this film is supposed to present a great glimpse behind the dynamics of the gym itself, as well as the sense of camraderie that develops between fighters from different walks of life.