Humberto Soto Might Be Out for May 7
Update: Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com followed up and says that Humberto Soto has indeed declared his free agency, with attorney Michael Miller representing him. Indications are that Soto is headed to Golden Boy Promotions, and the war between GBP and Top Rank just gets worse.
Rick Reeno of BoxingScene.com is reporting that numerous sources say Humberto Soto will not be going ahead with a May 7 rematch against Urbano Antillon, and that he might be moving on from Top Rank and Zanfer Promotions.
Soto and Antillon won many Fight of the Year awards for their December 2010 war in Anaheim, including the Bad Left Hook Fight of the Year, and the rematch was to be the feature bout and a very nice selling point on the Pacquiao-Mosley undercard. Losing the fight would be a major blow to the card's overall quality. The undercard still features the return of Kelly Pavlik at 168 pounds, plus a sacrifice of Jorge Arce to Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., but the money is definitely in Soto-Antillon II, which is the best fight on the card from a pure fight standpoint.
If Soto does back out, a potentially jaw-dropping war between Antillon and Brandon Rios could be made for July 9.
There is currently nothing set for the May 7 card that would be a suitable PPV fight, but Showtime and Top Rank aren't exactly hung up on "suitable PPV fights" as they proved by sticking Tom Zbikowski on their 3/12 PPV undercard in place of an even worse fight that was to feature Christy Martin.
Jhonny Gonzalez Looking for, Uh..."Challenges"?
Jhonny Gonzalez scored a big win on Friday in Japan, stopping Hozumi Hasegawa in the fourth round. Now, according to James Blears at BoxingScene.com, Gonzalez (48-7, 42 KO) is looking to fight one of three opponents. Let's run it down!
- Rafael Marquez (39-6, 35 KO): This is a fight I'd like to see, as I think Marquez, 36, still might have a little left in the tank, especially against someone as chinny as Gonzalez. Both have power, both can box their asses off, and Marquez's age might equal Gonzalez's inability to withstand a lot of power shots.
- Guty Espadas Jr. (45-8, 28 KO): Uhh...alright? Espadas is 37 and hasn't fought since a virtual shutout loss to Elio Rojas in February 2010, and was pushed to the brink in his last fight before that (April 2009) against lightly-regarded knockaround guy Juan Carlos Martinez. This fight could sell some tickets in Mexico, but Espadas is far from a contender.
- Israel Vazquez (44-5, 32 KO): Come on. I understand that Gonzalez would be going for "revenge" on Vazquez, but this would be pathetic. He wouldn't be beating the man that beat him, but rather a sad-sack shell of the man that beat him in 2006. Vazquez hasn't fought since a disheartening display against Marquez in May of last year, and has been off the radar since then. He's a fight-stopping cut waiting to happen and he'll never be the fighter he used to be. He's done as a relevant fighter.
Unless it winds up being Marquez, hopefully Gonzalez is forced to do something more than he wants to do.
Ray Edwards Will Fight
Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards is going to go ahead with plans to box professionally with the upcoming NFL season in limbo. The StarTribune reports that Edwards has signed a two-fight contract:
"It's something I've always wanted to do in my life," Edwards said during a break in his training at Higher Power Training in Eden Prairie. "I can't put my eggs all in one basket, waiting for the NFL to settle the lockout. You never know when this lockout is going to end."
Edwards is listed at 6'5", 268 pounds and has been training with former heavyweight fighter Jeff Warner, a Minneapolis native who went 23-2 with 23 knockouts in his small-time pro career. Warner says Edwards is a great prospect, but Warner also once had a fight billed with a fighter named Bill Corrigan that had some shady circumstances. Corrigan had knocked out Warner in Warner's second pro fight in 1991, and then in 1997 the two supposedly fought again, with Warner winning by TKO. But Corrigan claims he didn't fight Warner that night, and that an impostor fought under his name in Grand Island, Nebraska. Warner also fought a guy named Bill Borrea a bunch, with Borrea usually fighting under an assumed name. So, you know -- we'll see about Edwards.