HBO has decided to move up their Kelly Pavlik/Edison Miranda fight to May 19, pairing it with Jermain Taylor's defense against Cory Spinks in Memphis, and making for a pretty damn good World Championship Boxing card. There's also a rumor that Vernon Forrest will fight Carlos Baldomir, but nothing has been formally announced.
The winner of Pavlik/Miranda, of course, is slated to face Taylor later in the year, should Taylor beat Spinks. Miranda has already had some words about the Taylor/Spinks fight, saying that with Spinks and Kassim Ouma on his record, Taylor will have proven beyond any doubt that he's the best light middleweight in the world. In many ways, it's hard to argue. Spinks, like Ouma, will suffer from a big height disadvantage, and, like Ouma, he doesn't have the punching power to really hurt Taylor. He'll have to pull a Cory Spinks Special to win the fight.
Pavlik and Miranda is the fight to see that night, though. Unlike Taylor/Spinks, chances are pretty good we're going to see a knockout result from what is -- on paper, at least -- a serious slugfest. I favor Miranda only because of Pavlik's very notable lapses in defense. I've said this before, but he cannot let his guard down against Miranda the way he did against Jose Luis Zertuche, or he's going to get dropped in nasty fashion. I really do like Pavlik, but right now I favor Miranda.
The undercard for Mayweather/de la Hoya is set, with Rey Bautista taking on Sergio Manuel Medina, and Rocky Juarez battling Jose Hernandez. To be 100% honest, I'm not so sure that card is going to be terribly exciting. Oscar and Floyd is kind of a crapshoot on top as far as how good the fight is going to be, and I would have liked to have seen a real potential barnburner on the undercard. Juarez/Hernandez could be good -- I like Juarez's style when he's not being neutralized by Barrera, and Hernandez is coming off of a big KO win against Jason Litzau.
The Margarito/Williams legal wrangling is over, and that fight will be taking place at some point this summer. If Margarito and Cotto both win their upcoming fights, HBO will promote them on PPV this fall.
We'll be updating the staff pound-for-pound top ten in a couple of weeks, after the Pacquiao card on the 14th. We'll also probably update it again in June, since we'll have seen Mayweather and Taylor again, and Cotto and Hatton and Castillo all fight that month.