Quick note: Pacquiao/Barrera II will come from Vegas on October 6, leaving poor Vancouver hanging. I still just do not understand what in the hell the selling point of this fight is. Barrera getting revenge? We've seen this fight. Four years ago. It wasn't competitive. Barrera is still an awesome fighter, top five in his division (which is the best 1-5 of any division in the sport with Pacquiao, Marquez, Barrera, Soto and the urban myth that is Edwin Valero), arguably top 10 pound-for-pound. But Pacquiao wrecked him up four years ago, when Marco was stronger and Pacquiao wasn't as polished. This is going to be a slaughter. I do not get the fight. I'll order it because I love both guys and they'll probably put together a good undercard.
The Top Rank/Golden Boy settlement is tremendous for boxing, theoretically. It'll still be hard as hell to get fights like Mosley/Cotto or something of that nature, because even if they're on working or even friendly terms, the companies are still competitors.
Felix Sturm retained his WBA middleweight title with an easy unanimous decision over Uruguayan challenger Noe Alcoba, who came into the fight at 28 years of age with a 14-0 record. Sturm is a really good fighter and I wish he'd take on the top competition in the States, or that any of those guys were willing to fight him. He's still just 28 years old and in my mind, has only one loss on his record, to Castillejo. He fought once on American soil and did a great job against Oscar, and I will go to my grave saying he won that fight. The middleweight division is shallow enough without the top dogs all avoiding each other.
44-year old Evander Holyfield beat 41-year old Lou Savarese by unanimous decision last night, scores of 99-87, 98-90, and 96-91. 99-87? How much money did that card cost? I am not worried about Evander Holyfield's health, really, or his legacy, which is something other people create for athletes. All I'm saying is that I don't care about Holyfield's ridiculous "I won't retire until I win the heavyweight title again" crusade. Because I don't think Holyfield is ever going to willingly retire if that's truly the case. There are four heavyweight champions, all of whom would beat him with ease. Chagaev and Ibragimov and Maskaev aren't exactly all-time greats, but Holyfield doesn't stand a chance against them because he's 44 years old. This isn't Rocky Balboa. The old man is not going to put up a sensational fight against the champion, no matter which one it is. And let's not even consider the idea of people plunking down $49.95 to see a career execution of Holyfield were he to fight Wladimir Klitschko or Samuel Peter.
Thankfully, I don't think any of the champions would fight him. He doesn't deserve it anymore. And this isn't like the Masters where Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus went out year after year at Augusta, played a round and didn't hurt anyone even though they shot a 90. This is a physical, competitive sport where Holyfield doesn't have any business in the ring with top fighters. And if he hasn't noticed, nobody is knocking down his door. His road to the title has gone through Jeremy Bates, Fres Oquendo, Vinny Madalone and Lou Savarese -- a nobody, a failed contender, a never-was, and an eternal fringe guy that never got there and is now almost as old as the has-been making noise.
I love Holyfield, he was one of the first fighters to really captivate me. The guy was an awesome rooting interest. I like to think that his last fight was against Lennox Lewis in '99, and that the Ruiz trilogy never happened, the three-fight losing streak to Byrd, Toney and Larry Donald never happened, and that this absurd ordeal isn't currently happening. Again, it's not the health, I'm of the opinion that a man can do whatever he wants in boxing as long as he's deemed legally fit to be in the ring. And it's not the bullshit about legacy. It's just that I don't care about this story, and we keep having to hear about Evander Holyfield's next bullshit fight. Enough already. These are lousy fights against lousy opposition, and the minute he gets in there against a decent fighter in his prime, Holyfield is going to get knocked out.
Now, as an aside, let me also say this: If Evander Holyfield somehow gets a title fight, and I order that god forsaken event, and Holyfield starts making a valiant fight out of it, you are right as rain in assuming my tune will change and I'll be standing up shouting, "Go, Holyfield, go!" I'm human. A 44-year old ex-champion with a LOT of admirable qualities doing that would be storybook. But this is real life. It's not happening. Someone is eventually going to end this charade, and it won't be pretty.
Going back to Larry Donald -- he lost to top heavyweight prospect Alexander Povetkin last night in Moscow. Povetkin is now 13-0, but Donald took the Olympic gold medalist all 10 rounds. He also lost every single one of them on all three official scorecards, but he's the first guy to take Povetkin past the sixth. It was the 40-year old Cincinnati native's first fight since taking Valuev to the limit in 2005, and it'll probably be his last. I think I'd be interested in reading a book about Donald's career from his perspective; I mean, how many guys fought Valuev and Riddick Bowe?