The Jermain Taylor v. Sergio Mora bout, which was tentatively scheduled for May 19, is now off the calendar, as Mora refuses to fight Taylor in Memphis. The Taylor camp, now no longer needing to make Mora sound good, has let the dogs loose about the former "Contender" winner. Some choice quotes from Lou DiBella:
"For Mora to act like he's the champion and that he can determine where the fight goes, he proved what he is. He's not the 'Latin Snake,' he's the 'Latin Pollo.' This is on Sergio. The Contender people did everything in their power to keep this fight together. I would do business with them any time. It's not their fault. It's their fighter's fault. He gives snakes a bad name."
"The Contender guys negotiated a great deal for him, certainly more than he deserved considering he is barely a top 10 fighter."
Word is now that the Taylor camp is in contact with Don King regarding Cory Spinks, which could have a hot crowd in Memphis, with Taylor being from Little Rock and Spinks from St. Louis. Spinks is, of course, no one's favorite fighter to watch, but he is a quality opponent, certainly better than Sergio Mora. Spinks could be just the type of sneaky fighter to sit back and pick his shots against Taylor, playing defense and chipping away -- a round here, a round there, and all of a sudden you've got the makings of an upset and a controversial scorecard.
If Taylor keeps his belt, he'll be facing the winner of the finalized bout between Kelly Pavlik and Edison Miranda, scheduled for July 28 on HBO. This is one that a lot of people -- myself included -- are very excited to see. Neither guy is a perfect boxer by any stretch of the imagination, but you have the makings of a bigger bodied Gatti/Ward type of fight with these two.
Shannon Briggs and Sultan Ibragimov have their fight rescheduled now for June 2 in Moscow, promoted by Seminole Warrior, Golden Boy and Golden Grain. I'm not the biggest Ibragimov fan, but I hope he creams Briggs and gets him out of the picture.
A fight between Humberto Soto and Bobby Pacquiao has been officially added to the Cotto/Judah undercard.
John Duddy continued his Gerry Cooney-ish career with a ninth round decision over veteran Anthony Bonsante last night at Madison Square Garden. The fight was stopped early thanks to a cut near Bonsante's right eye, caused by an accidentdal headbutt in the second round. Duddy is now 19-0. On the undercard, Giovanni Lorenzo improved to 23-0, and Andy Lee improved to 8-0.
Wladimir Klitschko's next opponent could be none other than Lamon Brewster, giving Klitschko a chance to avenge his last loss, which came in 2004. Brewster (33-3) is definitely a step up from Ray Austin, a former champion with real ability. Brewster hasn't fought since a rugged battle against Sergei Liakhovich last April. Klitschko wants the fight in June, though July or early August is more likely. If Klitschko were to defeat Brewster the way Brewster beat him last time out, it would erase pretty much all the demons.
Celestino Caballero improved to 26-2 with a successful defense of his WBA super bantamweight title, defeating Ricardo Castillo (brother of Jose Luis Castillo) via ninth round KO. Caballero caught Castillo with a hard right to the head, after which Castillo spit out his mouthpiece and distanced himself from the champion. Jose Luis, working his brother's corner, instructed the referee to stop the fight. The 27-year old Castillo falls to 27-4, and has lost his last two fights.
Showtime will not be showing any of the undercard bouts on April 7, going with just the Corrales/Clottey main event. A fight between James Toney and Tony Thompson was shot down.
Former notable heavyweights Hasim Rahman and Ray Mercer will return to the ring to face one another on June 14 on the Versus Network, rescheduling their cancelled February bout. Mercer (34-6-1) hasn't fought since 2005, when he was kayoed by Shannon Briggs.
If you have the MSG Network, you'll be able to catch today's rematch between cruiserweights Jean-Marc Mormeck and O'Neil Bell, starting at 4pm ET.
The Evander Holyfield/Vinny Madalone fight is available tonight at 10pm ET via free webcast at CN8.tv.
Don't forget to join us tonight at Bad Left Hook for live, round-by-round coverage of the Barrera/Marquez pay-per-view event. I still don't know who I favor, which makes this a pretty special fight.