Ring of Fire: Klitschko-Haye Talk Resumes, Rios-Barrera Talk Starts

David Haye (seen here in a ridiculous hat in Las Vegas, yeehaw) says talks with Wladimir Klitschko have resumed. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)

Hey, It's David Haye! (And He's Talking About Wladimir Klitschko!)

David Haye's camp is saying that a potential fight with Wladimir Klitschko is "back on track" after the Klitschko team contacted them, The Sun reports.

Haye (25-1, 23 KO) is coming off of a pathetic victory over pathetic "challenger" Audley Harrison, and more notably, yet another failed negotiation with the Klitschko people. Haye is knee-deep in the politics of his "sanctioning body" at the moment, as Ruslan Chagaev has been named mandatory challenger by the WBA, as the company was low on choices with John Ruiz retired and Nikolai Valuev out with an injury. Surely it's nothing to do with playing favorites, but looking to make exciting and fresh fights for the boxing fans around the world, with the sort of fighters that we (boxing fans) all love to see, such as Ruslan Chagaev. But Chagaev has hepatitis, which got him blocked from fighting in the UK before, and Haye really has no reason to travel to fight the former "White Tyson." By the way, how many guys have been called "Little Tyson" or "White Tyson" or "Tyson Jr." or whatever, but are nothing at all like Mike Tyson? I mean at least Joan Guzman kind of looked like him in the face.

Anyway, take this with the usual 18-wheeler full of salt.

This Is the End, Beautiful Friend

Brandon Rios is out 4-5 months with a "bad" broken hand suffered in his excellent win over Miguel Acosta on Saturday night, but the talk of what's next for the exciting young lightweight has started already. And my worst fear for Rios' next opponent just might be realized, as Mexican promoter Fernando Beltran is pitching a fight between the heavy-handed pressure fighter and the legendary but badly faded Marco Antonio Barrera, according to BoxingScene.com.

In a world less callous and just plain mean than boxing, you would wonder if the sport's promoters simply have it out for the broken shells of their former stars. If this fight does get made -- and it makes all the sense in the world for it to get made, at least boxing business sense -- then that would mean we'll see Rios face Barrera later this year, while Barrera's chief enemy, Erik Morales, is all but led to the gallows against Marcos Maidana in April.

Morales is no junior welterweight, and Barrera is no lightweight. Neither of them has looked particularly good in years. Barrera's last good performance came in a 2007 loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, while the real Erik Morales was last seen in 2005 when he beat Manny Pacquiao in the first of their three battles. For Morales, we're talking about six years and a 3-4 record over seven fights, with none of the wins something you'd write home to ma to describe. Beating Jose Alfaro, Willie Limond and Francisco Lorenzo is not chopped liver, as all of those guys are capable third-tier professional fighters (I think there are about six tiers, for the record), but it does not prepare one to fight Maidana. The last time Morales faced a guy with power, Pacquiao shredded him inside three rounds.

As for Barrera, his comeback from a 2007 "retirement" has been far less impressive than Morales' comeback from his 2007 "retirement." If Morales is beating third-tier guys, Barrera has been picking and pecking at fourth- and fifth-tier opponents, and not looking good while doing it. His win last June over a hopelessly skill-deprived Adailton de Jesus was sad to watch. It was like watching the Batting Stance Guy actually try to hit a fastball -- it looked similar to Marco Antonio Barrera, but the skills weren't there.

But Rios-Barrera, as gruesome as it sounds to me on paper, does make sense, as I said before. Rios will be coming off an injury and despite holding that worthless "title" belt, will need a soft touch. The 37-year-old Barrera is a pretty soft touch at this point, all things considered. Both are promoted by Top Rank. And Rios-Barrera can sell a Latin Fury show. If you think Arum and DuBoef and the rest of the Top Rank gang aren't looking at Rios being a staple of the Latin Fury broadcasts going forward, you haven't been watching much boxing in the last 10 years.

Other News: Sugar Ray Dances, Oscar Talks With Usual Results

Sugar Ray Leonard is going to be on the next installment of Dancing With the Stars. If this is something you truly care about, feel free to search out news on this exciting development on one of about 35929034034 other sites, because I could not possibly give a shit less about Dancing With the Stars, and I'm not going to insult you by pretending that I do.

Oscar de la Hoya said that he believes Pacquiao-Mayweather will happen. I'm sure this will get someone excited, somewhere. Most of you have developed olfactories keen to the smell of boxing B.S., so you'll likely take this the way I do, as Oscar talking because Oscar talks. There's really nothing of any substance here other than "styles make fights! Buy our next Golden Boy Promotions fight! Golden Boy Promotions: Little. Yellow. Different. :) :) :) :)"

Mark Wahlberg says he wants to do a sequel to the critically acclaimed Micky Ward biopic The Fighter. There's plenty to cover, namely Ward's series of fights with Arturo Gatti, but doing a sequel just feels like a shameless money grab to me. Hey! Wahlberg really DOES fit in with boxing! If they do a sequel, expect a far less gripping movie, because Ward's life really sort of wrote itself out as Rocky and Rocky II, and Rocky II is a piece of crap compared to Rocky.

Ricky Hatton is going to be a father for the second time. He and fiancee Jennifer Dooley are expecting their first child together this summer. Congratulations to "The Hitman" and Ms. Dooley.

And then there's this.

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