Being tricky there in the headline. “Wha wha wha wha?” you might be asking yourself, “Did I miss the big fights, thinking they were on Saturday when really they were on Friday?” You did not. It’s just that there’s already talk about what might happen next for some of this evening’s contestants. In this relatively short edition of Round And Round, there’s also talk about what’s next for tonight’s contestants and the other two men in the headline, as well as Andre Berto, two different Marquezes and more.
And because they dropped at an odd hour on Friday, this is just a pre-Round And Round-reading note to check out two posts from that day, about what’s going on with yet another Marquez — Juan Manuel is fighting Manny Pacquiao again — and what’s going on in the boxing world as a whole, via our Quick Jabs round up column.
Round And Round
So Pacquiao-Marquez IV is on, meaning Timothy Bradley has no dance partner. What to do? One option is to call out Floyd Mayweather, which he might as well. So he did. Mayweather has no dance partner for whenever it is he next chooses to dance. If only Bradley wasn’t with Top Rank, or if only Top Rank and Mayweather didn’t despise each other, he’d be as viable as any other dance partner for Mayweather. Instead, Bradley might be fighting again in December against Ruslan Provodnikov, for example. If Bradley’s gonna fight a Provodnikov on HBO, and I’m totally fine with that fight, at least be a junior welterweight about it and not insist that Provodnikov move up to welter.
Before I get too far along, this weekend’s combatants: Golden Boy’s Oscar De La Hoya is talking about putting his man Canelo Alvarez in with Sergio Martinez next, which would presumably be about as doable fight as could be done, if indeed De La Hoya is sincere about it. Martinez is willing to move down from middleweight to junior middleweight, and he only wants money fights, which is what Alvarez is.
As for Martinez’s foe this weekend, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr., his team is not so much looking at Daniel Geale — who’s basically next most deserving in line on merit at 160 pounds — and instead at maybe super middleweight champ Andre Ward. I don’t see Chavez sticking around at 160, no matter what happens with Martinez Saturday. He’s a 168-pounder next, really.
There’s only one Ricky Hatton, and he’s returning in November against someone who is yet to be named. It could be Lovemore Ndou, who would be about perfect because he’s live-ish but not too live. He’s got a patina of “live,” rather than a double-coating. It could be some other name along those lines. I’d be fine with someone in that ballpark. It sounds, too, like Hatton aims to return at welterweight, a division in which he was never quite as useful. I am not enthused about a Hatton return, as much as it would give some fans in the U.K. something to shout about, but as long as he’s not hurting himself, I don’t see the problem with it. I don’t know if he’s hurting himself. I suspect we’d find out if he struggled badly with someone like Ndou.
There’s already talk of a rematch between Nkosinathi Joyi and his strawweight upset conqueror Mario Rodriguez. Why not? It’s as interesting as any other strawweight fight, no? Joyi is saying he was dehydrated and had trouble breathing. So be it. Rodriguez is down for a rematch, and on Joyi’s home turf, so that excuse would be put to the test in a do-over. Joyi did somewhat mysteriously cave in the first fight.
Cornelius Bundrage was angling for a fight with Mayweather or Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto, but a fellow junior middleweight beltholder, Austin Trout, got the call against Cotto instead. So now Bundrage will get… Andre Berto? That’s the talk for a November fight. And, y’know, it’s an OK fight. It’s just that I can think of better fights for both men, probably. I’m too lazy to do so right now, is all.
As a member of the apparent minority that wants to see Richard Abril fight again, I’m all good with him getting on Showtime against fellow lightweight Sharif Bogere in November. Look, Abril’s good. He held too much against Brandon Rios and it got old. But if Bogere can beat him, it says something about Bogere. And Bogere is often entertaining.
Epix will air the heavyweight fight between Alexander Povetkin and Hasim Rahman on Sept. 29, for some reason. Maybe because they are encountering stiffer competition for heavyweight fights these days, with Wealth TV and NBC Sports getting into the act and HBO showing some increased interest? Either way, yuck on anyone airing Povetkin-Rahman at all, even just to maintain a foothold.
Injury report, or non-injury report! Light heavyweights Zsolt Erdei and Gabriel Campillo are out of their respective planned HBO and NBC Sports appearances, which is too bad, because I kind of like them both. Tyson Marquez-Brian Viloria (junior flyweight) is being postponed from later this month to early November, but not because of an injury — because Viloria has been working with Freddie Roach, and Roach is too busy with Chavez to give much attention to Viloria. Glad that the fight is still on, mainly. And it looked like we might lose Rafael Marquez-Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr. (junior featherweight) for a bit because of a Marquez stomach virus, but now word is that we will not. Keep it on your calendar for Oct. 6, at least for now.
(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene, RingTV, Daily Mail, news releases)