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News & Views: Oscar, Hatton and Paulie, Calzaghe, Trinidad, Jones

Scott Christ is the managing editor of Bad Left Hook and has been covering boxing for SB Nation since 2006.

News: The rumored three possible choices to fight Oscar de la Hoya on HBO in May have been named: Steve Forbes, Paulie Malignaggi and Dmitriy Salita. Forbes is still considered the front-runner.

Views: All three are guys that are smaller than Oscar and don't present a real threat. Of the three, I give Malignaggi the best chance, if he could kick his Floyd emulation up another notch and pick-and-peck his way through 12 rounds, winning enough to score a decision, which wouldn't be easy. But Oscar is simply a bigger, stronger man than Malignaggi, Forbes and Salita, whose name being included really surprises me. It looks like Forbes will fight Oscar at a 150-pound catchweight, which would give de la Hoya a chance to judge if he can shed three more pounds to fight Mayweather and be effective. Forbes is a hard-working guy and a solid fighter, but he doesn't have a prayer against Oscar.

News: Joe Calzaghe told The Evening Standard that he won't make the same mistake that Ricky Hatton did against Mayweather when Calzaghe fights Bernard Hopkins in April. Calzaghe believes that Hatton fought angry, and that Mayweather's insults made the formerly undefeated Englishman too aggressive.

Views: It's good that Calzaghe won't let Hopkins rile him up and get away from his game, because that's exactly what Hopkins will try to do. It's what he does to everyone. But anyone that thinks Ricky Hatton's loss to Floyd Mayweather, Jr., had anything to do with Hatton being too riled up, they're fooling themselves. It was an outclassing, simple as that. There's no shame in Ricky Hatton moving up to 147, doing the best he could, and losing to the pound-for-pound king of boxing.

News: A Ricky Hatton/Paulie Malignaggi doubleheader is in the works for late May or early June. Last word on Hatton's return date has been May 24 in Manchester. On the card, Paulie Malignaggi would defend his IBF junior welterweight title against former champion Lovemore N'dou in a contractually-obligated rematch that nobody but N'dou thinks is necessary, and Hatton would be in the main event, hoping to set up a fight with Malignaggi later in the year. [Boxing Scene]

Views: Two things we know: Gavin Rees won't be Hatton's opponent, and neither will Junior Witter, who is traveling to the States to fight Demetrius Hopkins as a co-feature with Casamayor-Katsidis on March 22. Another thing we know: Malignaggi is way too good for N'dou. We learned that last year when Malignaggi just about swept 12 rounds and even knocked N'dou down to win the IBF strap. Here's hoping both win and we do see Hatton-Paulie later in th year.

News: Roy Jones, Jr., is talking, talking, and talking. Refueled by his dominant win over the rusty, undersized Tito Trinidad on January 19, Jones has now called out the following in a press release from Don King Promotions: The Pavlik-Taylor II winner, the Hopkins-Calzaghe winner, and Oscar de la Hoya. Jones says he'd go down to 156 pounds to fight Oscar.

Views: I loved Roy when he was in his prime, because he was just unbelievable. It's been said many times, but it's very true: Jones had the type of skills that made non-boxing fans want to watch boxing. Watching him fight was unlike anything in the sport today. He may have truly been the most physically gifted fighter to ever live. I know that sounds strong, but keep in mind I'm not saying the best, just the most physically gifted. He was unreal.

But Jones squawking about fighting Pavlik, Taylor, Calzaghe or Hopkins is just that: Squawking. He still hasn't scored a notable win over anyone in his weight class in over four years, and some debate that he even won that fight. These guys are not Tito Trinidad, who is old, hadn't been in the ring in years, and caps out, at best, as a middleweight, and that was in his prime. Could Jones beat any of those four guys? No. I'll just make it that simple. No, he can't. He does not have the chin for Pavlik or Taylor, and Hopkins is just too crafty for Jones and his speed loss. Calzaghe's activity is way too much for Jones now. If you watched Jones-Trinidad, you know what I mean: Roy was active in bursts, and when he punched, he smoked Tito. But that was Tito, not Joe Calzaghe.

As for Oscar, come on, Roy. Shut up. You had enough problems making 170 pounds. Jones would be so wrecked at 156 pounds that Oscar would almost assuredly be able to knock him out.

Roy's options won't be limited, I don't think. He has a chance to fight the winner of Pavlik-Taylor (particularly if it's Taylor, since Jermain has long been ready to move up from middleweight), and an outside chance at fighting the winner of Calzaghe-Hopkins, providing it's Calzaghe. Hopkins would love to beat Roy, of course, but I don't think King or Jones would really make that fight.

News: Tito Trinidad doesn't sound ready to pack it in for a third time.

Views: Tito's remarks after the fight have been...well, I don't know how to say this without sounding insulting, so I won't even try. Tito's remarks after the fight with Jones have been delusional. "I connected with my jab. I connected to the body. It was one of my better performances," he has said.

He connected with the jab a little bit, but it never did much for him. He did a bit of work to the body, a lot of it arguably low, some of it clearly low, and a lot of it his trademark shots to the hips. In the end, none of it was good enough to hurt Roy Jones.

It was not one of his better performances. He looked puffy at 170 pounds (you have to think he won't try fighting that high again), he never looked fast, and his power was washed out by the weight. He hasn't won a fight in years, and hasn't even been competitive in his last two. Sure, they were against Winky Wright and a guy that was too big, but he was not in those fights at all save for the first three rounds against Jones.

The only thing Trinidad has said that is actually true is that Jones didn't knock him out. He is right about that. Jones did everything but knock him out. And he easily could have; it almost seemed like he didn't really want to.

Look, I love Trinidad. I hope he fights on if that's what he wants to do. But I also wish he'd get a real trainer, move down at least to 160, and maybe get his game re-tuned with an opponent that doesn't necessarily offer a PPV slot.

News: 44-year old Virgil Hill may face 40-year old Dariusz Michalczewski in May.

Views: Just what boxing needs, more of the old timer's circuit. Hill has lost his last two fights to fellow hard candy aficionado Henry Maske and Firat Arslan, and Michalczewski hasn't fought since 2005, when he was knocked out by Fabrice Tiozzo.

Michalczewski is still best-known to American fans as That Polish Guy That Everyone Said Roy Jones Should Fight, But Roy Jones Didn't. And with Jones' return to the limelight this month, boxing scribes have been quick to re-hash the whole "Jones wouldn't go overseas to fight Michalczewski" thing again.

Personally, I never understood why Jones, inarguably at that point the best fighter in the sport, needed to go anywhere to fight anyone. Why couldn't Michalczewski go to the States? He was a good fighter, maybe bordering somewhere near great. But dictating terms on Roy Jones? Sorry, this is one instance where I'll never fault Jones. Roy was the money in that plan.

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