In what he himself describes as "the real-life Rocky," Micky Ward is the new head trainer for former rival and good friend Arturo Gatti, and will man the corner for Gatti's upcoming bout against Alfonso Gomez.
The 41-year old Ward casually mentioned that he'd love to work with Gatti, and word got around. Before you know it, Micky Ward is the main man for Gatti's training camp.
Since Gatti is so much more accomplished than Gomez, it's hard to say what this really means for that fight itself. But it's a cool story. The Gatti/Ward trilogy is something that will live on forever for fight fans, and to see the two enemies-turned-friends together in the corner will be something both nostalgic and unique.
The expected rematch between Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez is tentatively set for August 4 on Showtime, and you can count me in. The March fight was shaping up to be a classic before Vazquez had to quit due to the broken nose, and he showed that not even the very tough Marquez is immune to his power with his third round knockdown of the current champion. The rematch is deserved and hotly anticipated, as far as I'm concerned.
The Peter/Maskaev business is running into further roadblocks with delays for the purse bidding. Showtime wanted the fight for July 7, but that might just be a pipe dream at this point. HBO's schedule for July is full, and the fight still needs a venue. For what should be a relatively easy Sam Peter win, we sure are jumping through hoops just to give the man what he properly earned two times.
The long-rumored Mayorga/Vargas fight is running into problems of its own, which is absolutely no surprise. HBO's interest simply isn't there for two fighters who are a fair amount of time removed from being truly relevant, and who both have very little future left in the sport. Shelly Finkel is considering going to pay-per-view with the bout, hoping to draw 150,000 buys. With Vargas' diehard following, it might be able to reach that. Maybe. Really, though, you need HBO behind it in promotion, and they simply don't appear interested. If it could be paired with another fight, then you might have something. Again, this is a fight I would watch because I'm a huge Mayorga fan, but to pay for it? I'm a little lukewarm on that idea. It is -- for the time being -- billed as Vargas' final fight.
Don't forget that we'll be live on Saturday night for Juan Diaz v. Acelino Freitas on HBO, and that we're now just one week away from Floyd and Oscar.