The IBF, lacking a credible challenger for Wladimir Klitschko, is hoping that a four-man tournament will give them a fighter to match up with the current not-undisputed, but-come-on, who-else? heavyweight champion of the world.
And the four contenders have already been chosen, plus they've been matched up: Calvin Brock v. Eddie Chambers, Chris Byrd v. Alexander Povetkin. This is not even close to a done deal yet, but for Byrd, it's probably a last resort to get another title shot. For Brock, it's just a second chance. And for Chambers and Povetkin, it's a first chance. I would think we'll see the fights take place.
Early pick for a winner, should the tournament happen? Povetkin. Easily. He's young and still a bit raw, and a crafty veteran like Byrd could trouble him early in a fight, but Byrd can't knock Povetkin out, and eventually, Povetkin will hurt Byrd. I would pick Brock over Chambers, as "Fast" Eddie had a lot of trouble last time out against Dominick Guinn, and I really think Chambers is the kind of guy that's almost going to need a loss or two to truly become as good as he can be.
The proposed Chad Dawson/Antonio Tarver Showtime bout is off, with the camps unable to find a host that was willing to pay enough money to satisfy Tarver. I don't know why Antonio Tarver thinks one win over Elvir Muriqi makes him a hot property again after he was blitzed by Bernard Hopkins over a year ago, but that's Antonio Tarver for you. It's a fight I'd like to see; I don't think it's a fight Tarver would like to see, as chances are it would effectively end his marketability. Dawson is too strong. Dawson will now keep the September 29 date, using it to fight mandatory challenger Adrian Diaconu, which should be a pretty good fight. I'd love to see them do it that fight in Montreal, which would give Diaconu a hometown edge if you believe in that sort of thing. It'd be a great atmosphere, as it generally is with those boxing-crazy French-Canadians.
Official numbers for the Hopkins/Wright pay-per-view have been reported at 305,000 buys.
O'Neil Bell has pulled out of his August 8 fight against Louis Azille. No reason has been given. Azille will fight Lawrence Chapman on the undercard, and 21-year old Joe Greene has been bumped to main event status, taking on Darryl Salmon in his first scheduled 12-round bout.
Orlando Salido's ban will be lifted in Nevada tomorrow. Salido tested positive for a steroid after beating Robert Guerrero last November.
Jorge Arce could be on the undercard of Mosley/Cotto in November against Martin Castillo. Arce is what he is, and despite his crushing loss to Cristian Mijares, it's not like he got less entertaining overnight. Yuri Foreman may also be on the card. Yawn.
Sechew Powell has signed with Seminole Warriors, following his release by Lou DiBella.