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Tomato Cans: March 14, 2008

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

Everyone in the world has a "random thoughts" feature, so why not me? Today, I am 26 years old. Closer to 40 than 10.

But before we get started...

HEY YOU GUYS!!

If you have never seen Marquez-Pacquiao I, go over to Yahoo! Sports, because they have a free stream of the fight up. Kudos to Yahoo!, whose boxing coverage has become top-notch over the last few months.

  • So Buffalo Sports IconTM Joe Mesi has pulled out of his April 4th Friday Night Fights main event against Terry Smith, in what is possibly the least surprising news of the year (so far). I honestly wish Mesi would just give up the ghost. His career has been littered with injury, and the simple truth of the matter is that he's 34 years old and still has never graduated into the true upper echelon of the division. Mesi flaunts a 36-0 record but hasn't beaten (or fought) anyone worthwhile since 2004.

    The other reason to wish he'd just forget about it is that he would still have plenty of future in the sport as a TV analyst. When Mesi is a guest on FNF, he's excellent. Joe's a good guy, knowledgeable about the sport, and if he wants to go that route, I have no doubt he'd be around for a long, long time.

    Plus, he's recently expressed an interest in running for New York State Sentate. Mesi's no dummy pugilist. He's an educated, well-spoken, charismatic, likable guy. I don't wish Joe anything but the best, which is the real reason I think he shouldn't push it with boxing.

  • Has anyone caught any of Floyd Mayweather, Jr. on WWE programming? Like I've said before, I was a pro wrestling fan for a long time, but these days it just doesn't do it for me. I still have great respect for the sacrifice, the athleticism and the effort those guys put in. I also now appreciate their bad acting, because Floyd's is 10 times worse than any of them. Written lines are just not his style.
  • Everyone seems to be completely looking past Juan Lazcano in his May fight against Ricky Hatton. I cannot stress enough how foolish of an idea it is to totally count Lazcano out. Did people forget that he's a really good fighter? "The Hitman" should undoubtedly be the favorite and in a perfect world it's a good tune-up fight and nothing more, but we've never seen how Hatton responds to a loss before. If Hatton looks down the road to Paulie Malignaggi, Lazcano could stun a whole lot of folks.
  • Nate Campbell is, for the moment, the talk of boxing. And guess who's calling him out? British stud Amir Khan, the Commonwealth lightweight champion and, in my opinion, the single most exciting young fighter in the game. Khan is hoping to challenge for a world title by the end of 2008. Khan (16-0, 12 KO) is set to face light-punching Martin Kristjansen on April 5 in Bolton, his hometown. When -- it's not really an "if" scenario -- Khan beats Kristjansen, he will officially be in line for a shot at the WBO title, one of the three trinkets that Campbell won last weekend.

    It raises the question of whether it's too much, too soon for Khan, but I think this is a situation where it's really not. He is a massive talent and keeps getting better. He also doesn't come off as a kid with a swelled head, which a lot of 21-year old stars are prone to do. Could he beat Campbell by the end of 2008? Yeah, he could. I think you'd have to favor Campbell due to experience and the fact that he's a damn good fighter, but by the end of the year, Khan really could be absolutely, 100% ready for a fight of that magnitude.

    The other possible scenario is Khan fighting interim WBO champ Michael Katsidis, should Campbell vacate the WBO title. I don't see that happening, and figure we'll absolutely see Campbell-Katsidis should Katsidis beat Joel Casamayor next weekend -- no sure thing. Juan Diaz losing really jumbled the division, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

  • A rematch between Carlos Quintana and Paul Williams seems imminent, as a report in El Nuevo Dia said that it could happen as early as May 24, though that would seem erroneous to me unless they play to put it in Manchester alongside Hatton-Lazcano. Showtime has an open date on June 7, but it would seem the fight is destined to land on HBO, as the network was happy with Quintana's upset and would like to air the rematch, as well.

    Quintana wants to hold it off until at least mid-June to get proper training in. It's a fight that I'd really like to see again, mostly because, like I've said before, I'm very interested to see if Paul Williams can adjust and learn to fight effectively when pressure is put on. Quintana had his number in February, that's for sure.

  • The talk of Manny Pacquiao declining to any degree is back again. I've discussed it before, too, and I hope in a major way that it's just talk. Freddie Roach let out a great quote recently concerning Pacquiao-Barrera II, when Roach asked Pacquiao why he didn't go for the kill at any point: "He said to me, `Coach, he's a legend and he's getting old and I didn't want to embarrass him.'"
  • So who's heard the talk of Marco Antonio Barrera wanting to return to the ring and fight Israel Vazquez at 126 pounds? It sure beats the rumor of a completely useless Barrera rematch with Mzonke Fana.
  • Going back to Manny: Bob Arum says that the Pac-man won't be fighting his next bout in Macau, but rather his June fight will be in Las Vegas against David Diaz, the WBC's 135-pound champion, and that'll happen whether Pacquiao wins or loses against Marquez on Saturday. If he beats Diaz, he will fight in Macau this fall. Nate Campbell's name has come up, but so has everyone else's. I'm sure at some point, Pacquiao has been scheduled to face Vitali Klitschko this fall.
  • Let's stay with Vitali. If the WBC-ordered fight between champion Samuel Peter and Vitali Klitschko actually happens, I'll be shocked. And if it does happen, I hope Peter knocks Vitali out and we can get down to the real business at hand, which is Peter fighting Vitali's brother Wladimir for a second time. It's the only heavyweight fight that matters. When will people learn to stop promoting Vitali Klitschko comebacks? It wastes everyone's time when he can't make it through a training period. And if he half-asses a training period to get to a fight, he's just going to get wailed on. Sam Peter's no world-beater, but he's the only heavyweight I believe when he says, "I want to fight anyone."
  • More brothers! Last night, Urbano Antillon knocked out Bobby Pacquiao at 2:49 of the first round. Bobby is now 28-14-3. The Pacquiaos, needless to say, are hardly the Klitschkos or Marquez brothers. Bobby is nothing more than a gatekeeper, but God knows he gives it his all every time out.
  • This one is just a bunch of B.S., but let's talk about it anyway. UFC 185-pound champion and No. 1 MMA pound-for-pounder Anderson Silva is saying he wants to fight Roy Jones, Jr. in a boxing match.

    Before I really begin, let me say that I am a big fan of mixed martial arts, and have been for a long time. I really came into major fandom during the period where Wanderlei Silva was ruling the 205-pound division in Pride, but I'd watched UFC, at the least, since its inception. I remember renting the videos from the little video rental place downtown because the government was trying so hard to take the company apart. It was like renting Faces of Death at the time. Something they DIDN'T WANT YOU TO SEE!

    And by the way, UFC long ago earned the reputation it maintains to this day with some of the stupider sportswriters. Yes, they're wrong about it now, but come on. Early UFC was too often a freakshow to be taken seriously. And you've got to realize most of these writers haven't seen it since Congress was making a big to-do about the sport over a decade ago. If they're going to have opinions about it, absolutely they should be better educated. But that's asking a lot from sportswriter pundits, who barely seem to watch the things they like.

    But that's not the point. Again, I love MMA. I love boxing. My being a boxing fan first has nothing to do with what I'm about to say: In a straight-up boxing match, Anderson Silva would get fucking creamed by Roy Jones. In a straight-up boxing match, Anderson Silva can't hang with anyone worth their salt. I wouldn't favor the 185-pound Silva to be able to beat a top welterweight in a boxing match.

    Silva has good hands -- for a mixed martial artist. He's not a boxer. He's a great athlete, one of the most dominant athletes in all of sports right now, and the single best MMA fighter on the planet, in my opinion and the opinion of many people far more educated about the sport than I am.

    Jones would have more of a chance against Silva in an MMA rules fight than Silva would have against Jones in a legit boxing match. After all, everything Jones knows how to do is still legal in MMA. I'd give Jones a 0.57% chance of beating Silva under MMA rules. I'd give Silva a 0.01% chance of beating Jones in a boxing match.

    I'd be excited if it happened under any rules, since it would encourage the fans to care about the other sport. MMA and boxing should be brothers in arms, not divided fanbases. When boxing doesn't appeal to an MMA fan, I get it, and vice versa. Dan Rafael never has smack talked MMA, he just says it's not his cup of tea. Who am I to choose anyone's tea for them?

    But it won't happen. UFC head Dana White wouldn't let it, for one thing, unless it was under MMA rules or at least kickboxing. And Jones isn't so stupid that he's going to fight Silva on his own ground. Nor should he. And Silva, frankly, shouldn't fight Roy under boxing rules.

    It's simple: On Roy's turf, Roy wins. On Silva's, Silva wins. This isn't rocket science. It is, in fact, the easiest thing in the world to figure out. There is no surer bet in all of sports. I don't see how this could even be a debate among those with any knowledge of either sport. Our friends over at Bloody Elbow have talked a little bit about this scenario, and I think they'd agree. I remember Luke Thomas a while back saying Roy would "eat Silva's lunch" under boxing rules, so that's probably an agreement.

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