News: Money is the issue holding up a definite "go" on a February 2 welterweight title fight between Paul Williams and Carlos Quintana.
Views: Quintana wants a small bump in pay. Considering Dan Goossen and Paul Williams are possibly out of legit options with Zab Judah turning the fight down, I have to assume Quintana will get his bump. It's a simple negotiation, and nothing more. The Quintana camp is completely agreeable to the fight outside of the money.
News: British Empire heavyweight champion Matt Skelton will get his first crack at a world title when he takes on the returning Ruslan Chagaev on January 19 in Dusseldorf.
Views: Frank Warren secured the bout for the 40-year old ex-kickboxer, beating out Don King and Kali Meehan. King had hoped to place Chagaev-Meehan on the undercard of Jones-Trinidad on the same date.
I like Skelton and am glad he's getting a shot before it's way too late, but WBA champion Chagaev should be a rather heavy favorite. I also expect we'll see a knockout, one way or the other.
News: The proposed eliminator bout between Nikolai Valuev and Sergei Liakhovich is again being pushed back, it appears, with Valuev now saying the fight is scheduled for February 16.
Views: Liakhovich still has not fought since his stunning 2006 loss to Shannon Briggs, a fight he completely controlled until the final round, when he was knocked out with just seconds remaining. What a dreadful fight that was. At the time, I was quite high on Liakhovich. Not so much anymore.
News: The rumored February 2 bout between super prospect Andre Ward and dangerous Allan Green now looks unlikely. The reason? ESPN doesn't want to let Green out of a date.
Views: Green was scheduled to face Rubin Williams (29-2-1) on January 4, and the network refuses to let him out of his contract to take what is a fairly lucrative shot at the rising Ward. I also wouldn't disagree with anyone that says Green should honor his contract, face Williams, and worry about Ward afterward. But, the truth is, I was really interested to see how Ward would handle a big puncher like Green, and was hoping to see that fight with Williams-Quintana(?) and possibly Arreola-Tua. That would've been an action-packed card.
And I'll tell you what else I found really interesting about the matchup. Green was being reported as an opponent for Andre Ward. Everyone agreed it was a great step up in competition, but it seemed to be taken like Chavez-Sanchez or something. Allan Green is a legitimate force at 168. I don't know when he went from contender to gatekeeper, but if it was a valiant loss to Miranda when Green wasn't even 100%, that is ridiculous. A lot of the disregarding of Green has helped turn me into a very big supporter of his. Remember the last time a hot prospect fought Allan Green? Jaidon Codrington got his clock cleaned in a full 18 seconds. The first loss has become way, way, way too much of an issue. Fighters lose fights sometimes. How they rebound tells the story, really.
News: Arthur Abraham has stated that he wants to take on the winner of Pavlik-Taylor II next. Abraham is currently set to face Wayne Elcock on Saturday.
Views: Should Abraham win on Saturday -- and he should -- a match with Pavlik or Taylor would be most welcome. Abraham has said a few times he's ready to come fight in the States, and I for one would be very happy to have him. He's a really good fighter, very brave, and very, very tough. Anyone that can go 12 rounds with Edison Miranda, most of it with a broken jaw, is a man's man. To see Abraham fight the winner, though, it'd have to be Pavlik, unless King Arthur is ready to step up to super middleweight with Jermain. Pavlik-Abraham would be outstanding.
News: Heavyweight prospect Odlanier Solis will fight an old Francois Botha on December 23.
Views: Solis is the Cuban Olympian who defected to Germany, and stands at 5-0 with 4 knockouts since turning pro in April. He even scored a second round TKO of tomato can extraordinaire Jeremy Bates in October.
The 39-year old Botha (45-4-2, 28 KO) returned to the ring after a five-year absence in July, beating another tomato can, Bob Mirovic, via 12-round unanimous decision. It's a dangerous fight for Solis. Botha isn't that old, and he's been in the ring with far better fighters than Solis has -- names like Lennox Lewis, Wladimir Klitschko, and Mike Tyson. Granted, he wasn't in the ring with them for too long, but...
News: HBO has picked up the Povetkin-Chambers IBF eliminator bout on January 26.
Views: Heavy kudos to HBO for this. This will be Povetkin's first televised fight Stateside, and I'm quite looking forward to it. Chambers' slick style could trouble Povetkin, although I would pick the Russian simply because Fast Eddie is basically an orthodox, younger version of Chris Byrd, and Povetkin handled Byrd fairly well. It should be an entertaining fight, as Povetkin will press Chambers to trade with him. Does anyone think Byrd wanted to slug it out with Povetkin?