I've got a lot of boxing on the brain, but have become so sleep-deprived over the last couple of weeks that I can't really put together much by way of coherent thoughts, so here's a bunch of nonsense.
Dan Rafael noted in his "R.A.D." chat last night that the June 12 fight between Yuri Foreman and Miguel Cotto could head to pay-per-view, as even though HBO offered to carry the fight on World Championship Boxing, Bob Arum might not make enough off of that deal to pay the fighters.
This terrifies me. I keep saying I'm scared to death that boxing's promoters have again become so damn greedy that they're going to back to putting way, way, way too many fights on PPV, and this would be a prime example. I get the smaller PPVs, the Latin Fury shows and what have you, because HBO/Showtime aren't buying those fights and ESPN/Versus/whatever can't afford them. It's nice to have the option to see them in that case.
But Foreman-Cotto belongs on regular HBO. That's the bottom line. It's not a PPV fight, no matter what you put on the card, and trust me -- Top Rank won't put anything truly useful on the undercard. The success of boxing's three major PPVs last year (Hatton-Pacquiao, Mayweather-Marquez, Cotto-Pacquiao) leads me to worry that these guys are getting filled with a lot of hot air. "See?! We can do more PPV!"
Those shows did well because every fight was a major event and they were the only three large-scale PPVs of 2009. Foreman-Cotto would/will bomb, and it would stink hardcore for Top Rank if that happened and Foreman won. The less eyes seeing him beat Cotto (which he has a very good chance at doing), the worse it gets for the company.
After seeing the photos of Wladimir Klitschko and Eddie Chambers together, I got the same feeling a lot of people did: Eddie Chambers, good as he is, does not have a hope in hell. He looks like a teenager with a goatee next to Wladimir. The only worry Wladimir should really have is possible ring rust from the shoulder surgery-induced layoff he's had. But I don't think Eddie has the pop to back Wlad off at any point, nor the ability to get inside that jab. I rank Eddie as the No. 1 non-Klitschko heavyweight in the world, too, and I'll crap thunder if he wins this fight. In that regard, it's no wonder the only heavyweight stuff anyone seems to want to talk about is possible fights with the Haye-Arreola-Adamek trio.
Morales and Barrera
Is anyone else scared to death that if Erik Morales beats Jose Alfaro on March 27 (another low-budget PPV, by the way), Morales and his hated rival Marco Antonio Barrera will lock horns for a fourth time? I'm even more curious: does anyone really want to see that? Vazquez-Marquez IV is one thing, but Barrera-Morales IV would be about as relevant as 2008's third fight between Azumah Nelson and Jeff Fenech. Did you forget about that?
Edwin Valero and Antonio DeMarco
Without going in-depth about it, let me say that I was more impressed with Edwin Valero last night than I've ever been. He's still not very fast, but he throws in combination a lot more than he used to, and he's still not great technically, but he's better than he used to be. He's improved a lot and become a very formidable fighter instead of just a monster puncher.
I would also say that I was less impressed with Antonio DeMarco last night than I've ever been. He'd been making so many strides, and at 24 he's still quite young, and yes he lost to a very good fighter. There's still clearly a ton of work to do, and he's going to have to learn to use his height (5'10" at 135) to keep pressure guys back.
Similarly, Carlos Abregu may never be all that great, but he sure as hell is fun to watch. That guy punches with serious purpose all the time.
Paul Williams and Kermit Cintron
With the rumor moving that Williams and Cintron will meet on May 8, a fight that would take place at 154 pounds, I might surprise a few of you here. I can smell upset a mile away in that fight. Williams is hittable, and as much as I like him, we've seen him hurt now against Sergio Martinez and Antonio Margarito, two tremendously different fighters. It's not a particular style that's an issue for him, it's the fact that his defense can get really sloppy, and if guys are willing to take his long, wide shots, they can get good counters in there. Cintron is at least a good puncher, and the straight right is the southpaw killer. Anyone else feeling that one?
Thailand Pro Debuts
Is it just me, or do you have almost no desire to see Alfredo Angulo wear out Joel Julio in April?
I don't know what it is exactly, but the Super Six has lost some steam for me. I think it's a few things. First off, none of the second stage matchups really excite me. Then there's the fact that one of the six pulled out after one fight, and the argument is quite valid if you say he never should have been there to begin with. And now they're bickering over what city in Denmark that Carl Froch-Mikkel Kessler will be held. I get the horrible gut feeling that this thing is going to face some serious problems in the third stage.
OK, so I've gotten excited for Vazquez-Marquez IV. It was inevitable, which some of the more long-time posters here might have guessed given my man crush on Vazquez and my love of their three fights.
Did you know ESPN2 is running a Deandre Latimore-Sechew Powell rematch on March 19?
You know what I think I'd like to see on Friday Night Fights? Peter Manfredo Jr.-John Duddy. I think that could be fun.
Also in his chat last night, Dan Rafael said, "The Klitschko folks are talking to HBO [about Vitali-Valuev in May]. I'd be disappointed if HBO didn't do the fight." I'll offer a differing thought: I'll be disappointed if HBO spends a dime on that piece of crap fight that they could have spent on something useful or interesting.
I'm still waiting for Henry Bruseles to pull out of his March 27 fight with Mike Jones. It would be Bruseles' first relevant fight (and it only sort of qualifies) since his 2005 loss to Mayweather.