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News & Views: Hatton-Pacquiao?, Floyd-Oscar II?, Klitschko-Ibragimov, Arreola, Khan

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News: Trainer Freddie Roach told DZSR Sports Radio in the Phillipines that the subject of a bout between 130-pound superstar Manny Pacquiao and 140-pound king Ricky Hatton has come up recently.

Views: I was actually thinking about this as for where Hatton goes next, but in my mind, it seemed a little off. 140 pounds has limited options -- basically, Hatton has the two fights we're all harping on, Paulie Malignaggi at MSG, or Junior Witter in England. The 135-pound ranks are rather thinned out, with only Juan Diaz at this point as a notable at this point.

The Larry Merchant-planted seed rumor of Pacquiao-Oscar in September is even more silly. Not only would Pacquiao be way too heavy at 144 or 147 (the catchweight ideas that have been floated), many don't really think Oscar can get down to that weight anymore, anyway. Pacquiao could do 140, we know Hatton can do 140, and it would be a huge fight no matter where they put it -- Vegas, London, Manila, wherever.

But does anyone else just get the impression that even 135 is going to hurt Manny Pacquiao when he almost inevitably steps up to lightweight? The current rumored sequence is Pacquiao-Marquez II, Pacquaio against David Diaz, probably in the summer, and then the potential superfight with Hatton. As for Hatton, it looks like step one is Malignaggi or Witter, then maybe thinking about Pacquiao.

It's very interesting to think about and would do crackerjack business, but I'll tell you right now I'd pick Hatton to slaughter Pacquiao. It's just too high of a weight for Manny. I truly believe Manny Pacquiao maxes out as a great fighter at 130 pounds. But I'd be interested in finding out.

News: Leon Margules of Seminole Warriors Boxing (promoting Sultan Ibragimov) is very happy with the early ticket sales for Klitschko-Ibragimov on February 23 at Madison Square Garden.

Views: Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions said tickets are priced reasonably, and if so, that could be a great big help, and maybe more promoters should think about that. Just an idea.

I'm kind of really looking forward to that fight, even though I know I should probably just let it happen and hope it's entertaining. What I do loathe is that we still get AP articles like this one that bemoan the lack of "allure" in the lower weight classes, and go on and on spitting out old, tired lines about the heavyweight division being boxing's marquee division.

It's not. It's over. The time of the heavyweight division ruling boxing is done. That is a fact. Barring a Tyson-like emergence out of the American heavyweight division, it will never be what it once was. I'm not saying there aren't good heavyweight fighters out there -- Klitschko and Ibragimov are two of them. I'm not saying that the heavyweight division can't thrive if the matchmaking gets better and American TV accepts that most of these fights should be held in Europe.

What I'm saying is that the times, they done a-changed. Floyd Mayweather, Oscar de la Hoya, Manny Pacquiao, Ricky Hatton, Joe Calzaghe -- these are the money guys in boxing today, and not one of them has fought over 168 pounds. Welterweight Miguel Cotto is MSG's favorite son, not any of the heavies.

This is not even a new development. We can thank Roy Jones, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Naseem Hamed, Tito Trinidad, Oscar, and a host of others that started making headway on this years and years ago.

I'm not saying the heavyweights don't have a special appeal, because they do. It's just that it's not what it used to be, and the boxing public has come to terms with it. For every fan lost to the lack of a great heavyweight division (and I don't really think there are that many, honestly), there has been one made by the more action-packed lower weight classes. It's a glory period for smaller fighters. They earned the attention, and they deserve it. That is more than can be said for the heavyweights.

News: Robert Morales of the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA,, reports that Golden Boy matchmaker Eric Gomez says there is a good possibility of a rematch between Floyd Mayweather, Jr., and Oscar de la Hoya in May.

Views: It was a good fight. It was a competitive fight. At 147, it would probably be a more exciting fight, assuming Oscar doesn't lose too much trying to make the weight at his age.

I don't know why, other than greed, you'd try to sell a rematch. There is really nothing that the pure boxing fan in me likes about the idea. Mayweather already beat Oscar -- I figure he'd do it easier at welterweight, since Floyd's shots would have a little more zip behind them. It would be a fight made solely to make money, and that's not the spirit of boxing. Everyone wants to make money, sure. It's a business. But this wouldn't even be anything like the first fight, where it was Mayweather against a true icon for the first time, and Oscar seeing if he had enough left to knock off the pound-for-pound king. As "event" as it really was, it had a fight feel to it.

A rematch wouldn't, I don't believe. It would feel like the welterweight champ ducking out of a potentially much tougher fight (Miguel Cotto) to play bank with what is essentially his business partner now.

All that said, I'd order it. Who am I kidding?

News: Chris Arreola may face Monte Barrett on the undercard of the February 2 Paul Williams-headlined event in St. Lucia on HBO. Barrett is now the front-runner after veteran slugger David Tua dropped out of talks with Goosen-Tutor.

Views: Arreola-Barrett is not nearly the career risk that Arreola-Tua would've been for the unbeaten, very entertaining American KO prospect. A slugfest with Barrett probably results in the younger, stronger Arreola winning rather easily. A slugfest with the heavy-handed Tua could've been disastrous for Arreola's rise. I was very into the idea of Arreola-Tua -- I don't care as much about Arreola and Barrett, even though I like both guys.

News: Promoter Frank Warren hopes to match 21-year old lightweight phenom Amir Khan with European champion Yuri Romanov in February.

Views: I'm a big believer in Khan's talent, as most are. I think even as young as he is, he'd be able to topple Romanov. With the 135-pound division being what it is, Khan could sneak into the top five legit by the end of 2008. He just demolished a very credible Graham Earl -- absolutely wasted in him in 72 seconds. The young man is nothing to sneeze at, and the fast track is where he belongs.