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Quick Jabs: Who’s Afraid?; Jean Pascal Gets Racial; Poor Yuriorkis Gamboa

What in the living fu-. How is welterweight Danny Garcia regularly doing some of the best ratings that the “Premier Boxing Champions” series ever has done, even against Robert Guerrero in a match-up that not many people viewed as particularly competitive? I guess people like unconventional hairlines, cuz LeBron James is popular, too. It’s almost as odd as anyone thinking Guerrero won.

In this edition of Quick Jabs, a round-up of boxing news, we explore things that are controversial, lame and sad, mainly. Although we also talk about some decent match-ups happening, so it’s not all bad. Onward:

QUICK JABS

Everybody always thinks everybody’s afraid in boxing. Viktor Postol, for instance, thinks fellow junior welterweight Terence Crawford is scared of him, which isn’t likely — more likely, Top Rank, Crawford’s promoter, is scared of putting Crawford in a high-risk, low-reward bout. Most comically, Amir Khan claims that Floyd Mayweather didn’t fight him because he was frightened. The only thing Mayweather is scared about with Khan is wasting a chance to tease him to the point of climax and then leave him with blue balls…

Speaking of Mayweather, he went on another x-phobic rant, this time about Oscar De La Hoya over cross-dressing. Why does anyone find his antics remotely interesting? And also, it’s pretty clear he’s trying to stay in the media, especially the boxing media. He will almost certainly come back, or else he’s aware that his appeal starts with having been a great boxer…

Heavyweight champ Tyson Fury has gotten a stern warning from U.K. regulators to stay away from his own tendency toward controversial subject matter. Fury, in a great segment on HBO’s “Real Sports,” sounded like he already had learned his lesson — he said he wouldn’t apologize for his statements on gays, abortion and so forth, but he wouldn’t make them anymore…

In advance of this weekend’s rematch between light heavyweights Sergey Kovalev and Jean Pascal, Pascal played the race card. Let’s say he’s right — Kovalev is racist, and there have been signs of it, so, yeah, maybe. What does Pascal get out of this? Does he want to bring pub to a fight that doesn’t thrill many fans? Is he firing himself up? He ain’t gonna shake Kovalev with that nonsense. I do wonder if it’s true that Kovalev isn’t training that hard, and how Pascal would even know (unless he was referring to the first bout)…

Timothy Bradley says he probably will target Manny Pacquiao’s healed-up shoulder when they meet for Manny’s final fight, concluding with the rubber match of their welterweight trilogy. Like above, what’s the point of saying this? It’s only going to put the strategy on the radar of Manny and trainer Freddie Roach, who in turn will call a lot of attention to it when lobbying the ref in advance. Here, if anything, it just seems like Bradley was being too honest when answering a question, which is kind of the best reason to say such a thing…

George Groves said his “biological clock is ticking.” As our Alex McClintock pointed out, basically:

Sadly, junior lightweight Yuriorkis Gamboa will remain legally attached to 50 Cent, a boxing promoter who functionally isn’t promoting him. He’s fought once since the end of 2014. YURIORKIS GAMBOA!…

ROUND AND ROUND

Fights in the works! Or at least that people are talking about wanting to be in the works.

Joseph Parker’s team thinks that the team of fellow promising young heavyweight Anthony Joshua is ducking him. Joshua’s promoter says they just have a lot on their plate with everyone calling him out. This fight doesn’t need to happen yet, but it could be fantastic if both continue on their current promising pace.

We have Andre Ward booked against Sullivan Barrera at light heavyweight in March. This will be a good test for whether Ward can fight in the division. If we get Ward-Kovalev after that, I’ll be in heaven.

Gennady Golovkin could fight Dominic Wade next. It’s “meh.” But Golovkin is determined to stay at middleweight, as is his perogative, plus he’s pretty obedient to his sanctioning belt masters, and that means we’re probably just going to get match-ups like this for the rest of his career, at this rate.

Junior welterweight Ruslan Provodnikov won’t get a rematch with Lucas Matthysse (too bad; apparently, Matthysse turned the bout down, surely realizing how vulnerable he is), and is instead looking at Brandon Rios (after he retired due to lack of passion for the sport and then unretired? no thanks), Mauricio Herrera (a chance to settle an old score — works over here) or Adrian Granados (not that terrible, even if Granados is really working off one big upset win).

Shinsuke Yamanaka owes Anselmo Moreno a rematch, IMO, but instead the bantamweight is fighting Liborio Solis next. File this under another “not bad.”

Jamie McDonnell vs. Juan Carlos Payano at bantamweight, as looks likely? Sure!

Round And Round sources: ESPN; BoxingScene; Ring

(Photo: Danny Garcia wearing a mask enters the boxing ring to face Robert Guerrero for a welterweight bout at Staples Center Jan. 23 in Los Angeles; Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.

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