It would be, in my view, the most entertaining possible fight at 135 pounds right now: three-body titleholder Juan Diaz against Australian thumper Michael Katsidis. And HBO has set aside a date -- February 9 -- for the bout.
That doesn't mean it'll happen. Katsidis is a mandatory for one of Diaz's belts (WBC, I think, but who cares?), but we all know that titles take a backseat to B.S. politics very often. I also don't think that Diaz would do anything remotely approaching a "duck" here. It would be Don King.
As Dan Rafael notes, Golden Boy was the only purse bidder for the potential bout, winning the fight for $1.5 million. Diaz, under contract with Don King, would receive $1.2 million. Katsidis, a Golden Boy product, would get $300,000.
Rafael also calls the bid "surprisingly generous," and I would agree. What this says to me is that Golden Boy is already reaching out to Juan Diaz, whose deal with King expires in March. Diaz is a red-hot fighter, and would be a superb addition to the Golden Boy stable. As Rafael says, if this fight happens, it'll mean that someone -- Diaz or Golden Boy -- paid Don King to let it go forward, or that Diaz re-ups with King.
Really, though, can't you see Oscar, Schaefer and Golden Boy letting King shut down a $1.2 million payday for Diaz, then telling him to just wait the extra month, sign with them, and revisit it all in the spring?
Don King's place in boxing has slipped dramatically. He is too often a carny now, a guy selling a washed-up Ricardo Mayorga and the annual Andrew Golota soap opera. (Golota, also, will be back on the Jones-Trinidad undercard against untested Chicago heavy Mike Mollo.)
I hope the fight does happen, and I also hope that Diaz winds up with a sweet Golden Boy or Top Rank deal and Don King is left behind again. I don't expect the fight will actually take place on February 9, though.