Antonio Margarito will return to the ring on the undercard of the Miguel Cotto-Shane Mosley pay-per-view in November, adding to a pretty damn solid card for the big Top Rank/Golden Boy co-promoted event.
Margarito (34-5, 24 KO) will most likely take on 32-year old Golden Johnson (25-7-3, 18 KO), a fighter probably a little more dangerous than his record indicates. Johnson lost two fights in 2002, and returned in 2005. He hasn't lost since his comeback, notably scoring upsets over then-undefeated Freddy Hernandez and, in his last bout, Oscar Diaz. He also went to a draw with Larry Mosley.
Margarito, of course, last fought in July, in a damn good loss to Paul Williams, ending his long reign as WBO welterweight champion. Had he won, we'd probably still be talking about Cotto-Margarito on this date. Both will still be there, just not fighting each other.
Bob Arum says, however, that should both win, that fight could be revisited. "If Cotto wins and Margarito wins, and Oscar and Floyd are not available to fight Cotto, the next option is Margarito."
Arum also said something that I truly love to hear from a promoter: "This is the time to really capitalize for boxing. We know the main event is spectacular. We know we will have a very good audience, so instead of giving the fans shit, we're giving them great fights and very interesting fights. We want people to say the card was worthwhile and that it was worth the $50 we paid. We have to give the fans a whole card of good fights for their money."
In addition to the main event and Margarito-Johnson, the PPV broadcast will also feature Joel Casamayor returning with the title he apparently was now never stripped of, defending against Jose Armando Santa Cruz, and an interesting bout between blue chip prospect Victor Ortiz and Carlos Maussa. Demetrius Hopkins will fight on the undercard as well, although it won't be televised, because no one wants to watch him fight.
I'm sure by now you've read of the Oscar de la Hoya scandal, and if you haven't, go to your favorite gossip blog and dig it up. I'm not linking to the photos because, frankly, I don't give a shit if they're real or fake or what. The case, though, since it's getting to the point where it might become something, involves a stripper selling alleged photographs of de la Hoya, and saying he carried on a year-long affair with her. Oscar and his attorneys have demanded that the photos be removed from the web site, and the implication from their side seems to be that they're fake. I saw them, and it's nothing a decent photoshopper couldn't do. And, frankly, they look kind of fake if you've ever in your life been a teenager with the internet and seen some of the deplorable things people have celebrities doing. My goodness.
In the end, really, who cares? I'm not a fuckin' gossip blogger, and I didn't even want to talk about this crap, but if they're real, then whatever. I think absolutely no differently of Oscar de la Hoya than I did a week ago. Who am I to judge?
The proposed film "The Fighter," about the life of modern day warrior "Irish" Micky Ward, looks like it could be moving forward. It's a pet project type of thing, but with Mark Wahlberg prepared to star as Ward, Brad Pitt has entered into talks to co-star as Dicky Eklund, Ward's half-brother. Matt Damon was originally going to play Eklund (a fighter who once knocked down Sugar Ray Leonard), but was forced to pull out because of other commitments. I'd love to see a movie about Micky Ward get a big theatrical release -- maybe it would inform the general public that boxing did not die when Mike Tyson got knocked out by Buster Douglas, when Mike Tyson went to jail, when Mike Tyson bit off Evander Holyfield's ear, or when Mike Tyson got blasted by Lennox Lewis. That'd be nice.
Kendall Holt is asking for an immediate rematch against WBO junior welterweight champion Ricardo Torres, claiming that the fight took place in an unsafe environment. Holt was likely to get a rematch anyway, but this should just put fuel on the fire. Holt claims he was hit in the eye with a can in the sixth round, temporarily blurring his vision. It is true that during the 11th round, fans were throwing all kinds of shit all over the place, and that the event -- predictably, to many -- was poorly-planned by a promoter who didn't deserve the bout. More interestingly, Holt's people are asking that the September 2nd bout be declared a no-contest. That is less likely.