Say It Aint So .Rumors Abound of De La Hoya-Mayweather Rematch
This past weekend, Golden Boy Promotions rival (and scorned former Mayweather promoter) Bob Arum leaked to the press that a De La Hoya-Mayweather rematch was a done deal for May 2008.
Arum elaborated that De La Hoya was using a potential showdown with Miguel Cotto as leverage in negotiations. Arum took aim at both of his former fighters, claiming De La Hoya would never fight Cotto for fear of a serious beating, and Mayweather just plays around.
Golden Boy Promtions CEO Richard Schaefer did not deny Arums claims, but cautiously claimed the negotiations were far from complete, and that De La Hoya was still considering Cotto and other potential matchups.
Good grief. While most give Floyd credit for his exhibition against Oscar last May (in lieu of the fact it was at a weight Money May had no business at), a replay serves no purpose whatsoever. For Mayweather, he is the reigning pound for pound king and champion of a weight class chock full of talented and prime fighters: number one contender Miguel Cotto, and undefeated title holder Paul Williams, for example. At this late stage of his career, Floyd should not be engaged in any more glorified sparring sessions, no matter how high the payday.
With De La Hoya, the chances are very slim that he can improve on his performance from a year ago. It will be another year of inactivity, against a fighter that took away his best weapons (his jab and left hook) in a smaller ring and with Reyes gloves (tailor made to help a puncher like De La Hoya). Not to mention Mayweather was able to do this to Oscar at 154 pounds. As stated in the year end review, Oscar needs to stick to promoting and stop the annual De La Hoya Sweepstakes. Hes given more than enough paydays over the years.
While Im sure Bob Arum is not telling the whole truth (he admittedly turned down a Mayweather offer to Cotto back in 2005), all parties involved need to get it together. The best fight to be made in boxing is Mayweather-Cotto, period.
http://www.fightnews.com is reporting that Jeff Lacy and Antonio Tarver have agreed to terms for a bout on April 12th. The fight will be for Tarvers alphabet IBO light-heavyweight title, with Chad Dawson vs. Glencoffe Johnson as the undercard. However, the Tampa Tribune is reporting that Jeff Lacy has called the fight off, due to animosity with his former promoter Gary Shaw. Apparently the split was not amicable, and Jeff is adamant about not wanting Shaw involved with the promotion on Tarvers side, since Shaw will be making money off him. Nice story, but the real reason is probably Lacy realizes hes not ready.
While Tarver isnt exactly Joe Calzaghe, Lacy still needs more tune up fights before moving up against a puncher like Tarver. Lacy looked horrible in his last outing against Peter Manfredo, in particular his timing and punching technique. If this fight goes through, expect Antonio Tarver to stop Lacy inside of eight rounds.
Cotto Eyes Tuneup Bout Against Alfonso Gomez, Judah-Margarito On Tap
Publications in Puerto Rico are reporting that Miguel Cotto is in negotiations to face Arturo Gatti vanquisher Alfonso Gomez on April 26th. The bout would set up a summer showdown with Antonio Margarito, who would face Zab Judah on the April 26th undercard. The irony here is in their promoter Bob Arums criticism of De La Hoya and Mayweather, only to see him drop Cottos competition way down after Miguels gutsy performance against Shane Mosley in November.
Cotto should win easily, and Margarito will likely put a frightful beating on Judah in the late rounds. Of course, Zab Judah may channel Willie Pep and Muhammad Ali to deftly outbox his larger opponent (stop laughing, I like Zab ). Still, the potential choices by Cotto and Mayweather are disappointing in light of their last performances and current pound for pound standings. Both camps are thinking dollars, but not long term sense.
Hopkins and Calzaghe Finalize Bout, Scheduled for April 12th
The BBC is reporting that Bernard Hopkins and Joe Calzaghe have finalized a light-heavyweight showdown. The tentative venue is Las Vegas, with other potential hosting sites being considered in Yankee Stadium and Madison Square Garden. Both men will be competing for pound for pound supremacy, with Hopkins title on the line. While Calzaghe is the favorite due to his high punch output and greater athleticism, Hopkins ring intelligence is rivaled by no other fighter except Mayweather. Calzaghes rough outing with fouling Sakio Bika might provide an example of how Hopkins may approach the bout. Tensions escalated last month with an impromptu meeting between the men at the Mayweather-Hatton fight. See below for further details.
Malignaggi Survives Close Call
Paulie Malignaggi (24-1, 5KOs) survived a close scare against rugged Herman Ngoudjo (16-2, 9KOs) last weekend, sneaking out a unanimous decision. Ngoudjo consistently landed the harder shots throughout the bout, even stunning Paulie with a right hand counter in the 7th. But the judges preferred Malignaggis punch output and ring generalship. Paulie admitted after the bout he underachieved, and blamed his 6 month layoff for the performance.
Malignaggi will have to improve significantly to stand any chance against Ricky Hatton. Malignaggis jab was lazy in this bout, and Ngoudjo countered it with right hands to great effect. Paulie would have to box the fight of his life, since his inside game is non-existent and Hatton would treat him like a red headed stepchild. Unfortunately for Paulie, Hatton was able to close the gap early on Mayweather, forcing Floyd to beat Hatton at his own game. Paulie is no Mayweather, and Hatton would be the favorite here.
Miranda, Pascal Win Bouts
Edison Miranda (30-2, 26 KOs) returned to form this weekend, brutally knocking out David Banks (15-4-1, 2 KOs) in the third round. Miranda controlled the bout and landed a straight right to end the night. Meanwhile, Jean Pascal (21-0, 14 KOs) survived a 7th round scare to win a comfortable 10 round decision over Omar Pittman (15-4-1, 8 KOs). Pascal dropped Pittman in the 2nd round, only to be wobbled by a left hook in the 7th, and a right hand in the 8th. Both wins set up a potential grudge match between Miranda and Pascal for later this year.
Footage of Mirandas KO
Talk Is Over Jones and Trinidad Settle Matters This Weekend
Roy Jones and Felix Trinidad have made the final preparations for their bout this Saturday. Both aging legends are predicting early KOs. Look for Jones to outbox a rusty Tito from the outside and cruise to a 116-112 type decision. Jones is naturally bigger, faster, and has been active. Tito has had two bouts in the last three years, the last one being a lopsided decision loss to Winky Wright. Unless you are a huge fan of either fighter, please save your money.
Tune in next week for more news from the world of boxing.