Vanilla Ice. Iceman John Scully. Eating ice cream together. The universe almost exploded a couple days ago at this meeting of Ices, and you didn't even know.
Mr. Scully is not coincidentally one of the topics of a hybrid Quick Jabs/Round And Round column. We'll discuss first some trash talk, some frivolous lawsuits and some boxers in trouble with the law, i.e. the lifeblood of the sport. Then we'll jump into some match-ups involving not only the men in the headline but the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Nonito Donaire — you know, the big names. They probably ought to be the names in the headline, based on the principles of headline writing, but I get sick of putting them in the headlines sometimes, so this time they aren't.
To the Ice: light heavyweight Chad Dawson is switching trainers AGAIN, this time from Scully back to Eddie Mustafa Muhammad. It's not that Muhammad was a bad trainer for Dawson the first time; he and Scully were better fits than a peculiar sojourn over to Emanuel Steward, even if you could pick things to criticize about both trainers' tenures with Dawson. It's just that Dawson keeps switching over and over and over again, and it's not doing him any damn good. Switching trainers so much often leaves a fighter without an identity, and it's left Dawson a lumpy mass of raw ability who knows how to fight a little but never has put it all together mentally. As Scully said, he seems to be looking for someone to blame. But everything wrong with Dawson is between his ears…
Now, middleweight Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. — there's a guy who could stand a trainer switch, if he can find someone who could motivate him more than Freddie Roach managed to do. Except in typical Chavez fashion, he's lollygagging around to the point that one of the potential trainers, Nacho Beristain, is publicly complaining about it. Chavez is young enough to get things right between his ears if he can find a trainer who inspires him to get it right, but he'll have to want it in the first place…
We'll have more on super middleweight Carl Froch's plans in a bit, but this trash talk he served Adonis Stevenson was epic. "A tiger does not lose sleep over the opinion of a sheep — and trust me, Adonis will be a lamb to the slaughter."…
Boxers and the law, in sequence: 1. Manny Pacquiao is contemplating suing the dumb doctor who suggested he might have Parkinsons disease. If he does it and that's not thrown out of court instantly, the Philippines needs to revisit its defamation laws, although I suppose as a congressman Pacquiao could block them from doing it. 2. Heavyweight Tomasz Adamek was in a car accident and alcohol might have been involved. With the way things are going for Adamek in the ring of late where he keeps winning fights he doesn't deserve to, watch him beat the wrap on this one. (J/K! I honestly hope no alcohol was involved.) 3. Former boxer Vinny Pazienza got arrested over an (alleged) tantrum he threw about a $23 bar tab. Dude, it's $23. I know in this economy nobody wants to throw away $23, but your court fees are probably going to cost you more than that…
Mike Tyson will appear on Law & Order: SVU next month. That's "Special Victims Unit." Sex crime stuff. Even if you give Tyson the benefit of the doubt on that rape conviction of his, you have to admit that's a bold casting choice, because a lot of people not unjustifiably are going to believe Tyson is a rapist, what with a court deciding he was, and will be angry with Law & Order for putting a convicted rapist in a drama that is often about rape. The choice has gotten some mainstream media play, and presumably the choice was made to court controversy, but I wonder if it'll end up being the wrong kind of publicity.
Round And Round
Floyd Mayweather and Canelo Alvarez are going to be on the same pay-per-view show in May, with the idea of setting up a meeting between the two at junior middleweight in September. At least, that's what Alvarez's team is saying. We don't know for sure who Mayweather and Alvarez will fight in May, although one suspects Mayweather will fight welterweight Robert Guerrero and Alvarez has talked about fighting Austin Trout. This set-up is fine with me, basically. Mayweather-Guerrero is an OK fight with the evaporation of Mayweather-Pacquiao, and Alvarez could stand to beat someone a little better than he has so far before he's ready for the likes of Mayweather, and Trout definitely qualifies; Trout might even upset the apple cart.
There's also a plan afoot to get Pacquiao on a same-card PPV doubleheader in April with Juan Manuel Marquez in advance of another rematch between the welterweights later down the road, with Vyacheslav Senchenko and Jessie Vargas the opponents. I'm not opposed to Marquez-Vargas and Pacquiao-Senchenko, and I wouldn't mind Pacquiao getting in a fight against a semi light-hitting opponent to see if he's recovered from that knockout, but I doubt Marquez will see the point of fighting a lesser name when he's contemplating retirement.
Top Rank's Bob Arum made some remarks today to Michael Woods of The Sweet Science that sounded like he was softening on the idea of putting his man Nonito Donaire in against Golden Boy's Abner Mares in a way that would allow both companies to promote the fight, which is good news even if it's just a baby step and GBP would have to agree to a lesser role (which makes sense, based on the respective draws both fighters are). Donaire, the lineal champ at junior featherweight according to the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, was recently talking like he didn't expect to face Mares or even Guillermo Rigondeaux, next, alas. I don't have much use for another fight where Donaire doesn't face a super-elite type.
Froch-Mikkel Kessler II is a go for the spring in England, date TBD. Terrific. Best fight for both guys, instantly one of the highlights of the 2013 calendar. I like Froch-Stevenson, but it can wait. I have to assume Epix or WealthTV or someone will pick this up for a U.S. broadcast.
Yuriorkis Gamboa is in line to challenge for the sanctioning outfit 130-pound belt owned by Takashi Uchiyama, which is about the right fight for him next, so I'd be in favor of it. Also at 130 pounds soon could be Juan Carlos Salgado-Argenis Mendez II for March (a deserved rematch, by all accounts) and Gamaliel Diaz-Sergio Thompson in April in a battle of guys who need to prove their recent big upset wins said good things about them rather than bad things about who they beat.
I can't make heads or tails of what Ricky Burns is doing — he keeps pump-faking like he wants to fight Adrien Broner, but wants a lot of money for it, and instead he turns to the likes of Miguel Vazquez for a March meeting, against a lightweight who offers very little money and who sucks to watch fight. Hey, at least Epix will televise it, right? I guess it's a significant enough fight to get broadcast here, but it's hard to get enthused about any televised fight involving Vazquez.
Golden Boy has won the purse bid for the junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan-Erislandy Lara rematch, not that anyone was clamoring for it based on the ugly first meeting; I myself am just fine with it, because I do so like finishing unfinished business. We'll see if Top Rank lets Martirosyan go forward with it, but it's not like he has anything better to do.
Welterweight Keith Thurman could be stepping up in class big time in March to meet Jan Zaveck, still a top-10 worthy 147-pounder. The fight, which I'd like to see, would be on HBO.
Middleweight Peter Quillin is going to fight someone worth a damn next time out as opposed to dangerously faded Jermain Taylor, as was once floated: Fernando Guerrero, a tough customer who had some prospect shine that has faded a little too, but a much better fighter at this point than Taylor. It'll be on Feb. 9 on Showtime underneath Danny Garcia-Zab Judah (junior welterweight). Marco Antonio Rubio gets the winner of Quillin-Guerrero, at least per the specs of the alphabet belt outfit Quillin's belt belongs to.
With Froch lining up to fight everybody but Lucian Bute, to whom he owes a rematch, Bute has turned his attention elsewhere, and it's probably for the best given how the first fight went. He's looking at the winner of Sakio Bika-Nikola Sjekloca in February. Bika figures to be the kind of opponent who gives Bute fits, with his pressure and ability to take punishment, so I'm not sure that's a huge improvement for Bute in the "winability" department.
Lamont Peterson vs. Kendall Holt is coming to my Washington, D.C.! Look for the junior welterweight clash to be one of the highlights of 2013's Friday Night Fights season on ESPN2, even if Peterson's positive test for a banned substance last year still makes you feel queasy.
Speaking of queasy: Middleweight J'Leon Love is apparently going to fight ancient Bronco McKart, and Showtime Extreme is going to televise it next month. Ewww. This Showtime Extreme thing has been good, mostly, and nobody expects major match-ups on what amounts to bonus coverage, but if a fight ought not to happen at all, no need to televise it.
Tony Bellew-Isaac Chilemba at light heavyweight in March: sounds like a slugfest. Sign me up.
We'll close with a couple little men fights: Ulises Solis-Edgar Sosa III at flyweight in March (a rematch of a fight from nine years ago that somehow makes sense, and they fought two years before that, too) and Donnie Nietes-Moises Fuentes that same month at junior flyweight (another quality match-up).
(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene; ESPN; RingTV)