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Quick Jabs: Fighter Safety, Continued; Sergio Martinez's Tight Spot; More


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That's Jean Harlow with Primo Carnera, one of two Golden Age Hollywood starlets playing at boxing featured in this edition of Quick Jabs. I got that one from Reddit's r/boxing, and we've been mining them for this kind of gold in our posts of late. You definitely should be checking it out on your own, too -- lots of good discussion and links and such. We don't steal but a fragment of the goodness, which this week included an entertaining Q&A with Main Events' Kathy Duva.

There's a mini-Round And Round at the end of this post to discuss fights in the works, so it's not just Quick Jabs to collect and analyze major news and recent bouts. We'll have an update about this week's schedule, as well as tidbits on fighters like Nonito Donaire, Juan Manuel Marquez, Yuriorkis Gamboa and others.

Quick Jabs

So that schedule update: Heavyweight Tomasz Adamek is out against Vyacheslav Glazkov due to illness, per a news release, with Garrett Wilson stepping in on the NBC card. You had to figure options were limited, but Wilson is a severe downgrade from Adamek in marketability and competitiveness -- he has a loss on his record to Omar Sheika in 2010 (ick! -- although he avenged it in 2011) and lost his last fight at cruiserweight to Alexander Alexeev. The other schedule update is that ESPN3 will be carrying the super middleweight bout between James DeGale and Dyah Davis, airing at 5 p.m. ET, also per news release...

In light of the fatal injury to Frankie Leal and the near-fatal injury to Magomed Abdusalamov, we've discussed a great deal in this space what could and should be done. There are two other worthwhile suggestions out there. One is improved defensive training. This goes to the heart of a certain kind of excitement boxing provides. Poor defensive fighters tend to be more entertaining. What makes a good brawl exciting is the extreme level of mutual contact. Those kind of bouts are also, sadly, the ones most likely to led to a boxer being gravely injured. Because I enjoy a variety of different kinds of boxing matches, including intelligent, strategic chess matches, I don't need every fight to be a crazed slugfest, but in so far as I buy into the "we're to blame" line of thinking, I see my appreciation of those slugfests as playing a role in that that. But honestly, I'm more than willing to trade off some heroics for a greater chance that a fighter lives. One of the things that made Darren Barker-Daniel Geale special was that it could've been stopped at one moment and was not, and when Barker rallied, it was all the more impressive. But if I had been robbed of that moment because someone decided it was worthwhile to throw in the towel to preserve Barker's life, I would have had no complaint. And that's key. Another suggestion is to reduce sparring during training camps. I don't have the first hand knowledge about the impact of sparring to agree or disagree, but at minimum it's a worthy suggestion. To catch up on the Magomed case: There have been some disturbing complaints from the Magomed camp about what happened after the fight. There have been some counterpoints from the New York regulators, but only anonymously -- which leads me to lean toward trusting the Magomed camp, because they've put their name to it. Also, you should consider donating to the families of both Leal and Magomed. Mago might be showing signs of progress, but the medical expenses for him and his family could still be enormous. Related: I'm always torn about how much I should condemn vs. ignore when a clearly shot big-name fighter fights on, but now that it's over, I can say I really really really don't know how heavyweight James Toney was licensed for the "Prizefighter" tournament in the U.K. this week sounding like

. If Toney passes all the tests with that kind of slurring and his evidently diminished performance in the ring, maybe the testing isn't good enough...

I've found it difficult to read between the lines in a who's right/who's wrong kind of way about whether super middleweight contender Edwin Rodriguez really sought the use of Voluntary Anti-Doping Association testing for his bout with champion Andre Ward in any serious way prior to his public declaration that he wanted Ward to do it. There is a he-said, she-said dynamic to it, but it does seem clear to me that it's not something Rodriguez made a big deal about during negotiations for the fight, at least, as though it was a very, very important component of the bout to him. In that sense, Rodriguez crowing about it at news conferences does kind of look like gamesmanship rather than something that's a big statement of principle, and maneuvers like that are no good for VADA's rep as an organization -- not that they did anything wrong here, but if they're being accused of being used as a political tool, it doesn't help them. Another VADA situation: Junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux's team, once so skeptical of VADA, is saying that Joseph Agbeko isn't doing what he should've under the contract so far vis-a-vis VADA testing, but we only have one side of the story, so it's hard to estimate who's in the wrong here...

We finally have the numbers on the HBO pay-per-view for the Timothy Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez fight from a named source (at Top Rank, mind you): 375,000. That's a number I can believe and a number that figures to have made it worth HBO/Top Rank's while to put it on PPV. Another recent HBO number: 1.1 million for the main event this past weekend featuring junior lightweight Mikey Garica. In other words, about the number of just about every average-ish fight at the network this year. Which is about as good as you can expect for Mikey right now, I expect, although he has room to grow...

Yuriokis Gamboa's avalanche-style decline continues; he's been arrested on a domestic violence charge, and it's not the first time. yuriorkis gamboa...

There's a boxing reality show in the works, and while the details are murky, the idea is that Floyd Mayweather, Sr., Yoel Judah and perhaps Ruben Guerrero will train some 140-154 pounders and there will be a tournament. Those are three pretty colorful trainers, so they could make for some good TV by themselves. Things like the network and which fighters might be involved and all sorts of other details are not yet public...

Bermane Stiverne is suing his promoter, Don King. Stop me if you've heard this before with King (I'm assuming you stopped me there, so I'm not going to say anything more)...

Now, before we go into Round And Round, here's Barbara Stanwyck wearing boxing gloves, via Carlos Acevedo.


Round And Round

Middleweight champion Sergio Martinez has put himself in an uncomfortable position. Golden Boy is throwing gobs of money at junior middleweight Miguel Cotto -- a reported $10 million -- for a Canelo Alvarez fight, and Martinez and his team have openly pined for the Cotto fight. I'm personally fine with either combo; I find Cotto-Alvarez and Cotto-Martinez to be compelling fights, although I'd feel a little bad for HBO for paying so much for Cotto-Delvin Rodriguez if he isn't going to stick with HBO partner Top Rank and then flee over to Golden Boy partner Showtime. Anyway, now Martinez's team is talking about taking a Marco Antonio Rubio alphabet belt mandatory if they can't get Cotto, when everyone knows the REAL top contender to Martinez's lineal championship is Gennady Golovkin. Now, if they were just saying, "Hey, Martinez needs a touch-up fight, coming off nearly a year of injury," I could understand -- but only if they said that well before they pined for Cotto next, too. And they can't really act like their middleweight alphabet belt was all that important to them if they were going to try and work out a deal with that alphabet to allow them to take the Cotto fight, as they said they were going to. Basically, this now looks like Martinez is ducking Golovkin. And maybe Martinez is willing to fight Golovkin as he has said, but it's clear he's not very interested. It's a bad look. A lot of people do have expectations that someone who has the real championship in a division will behave like the real champ and take on the top contenders. And they should.

While Nonito Donaire is talking about a rematch with junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, his promoter Bob Arum said he is more interested Donaire vs. junior lightweight Nicholas Walters. I don't doubt that Arum is uninterested in Rigo-Donaire II, and not because of Donaire's weight issues, as he stated; he knows he might not have much left of Donaire's marketability after that rematch because he's likely to lose even worse, and then Arum will be left trying to make something out of Rigo, and he desperately doesn't like having Rigo in his stable. I also doubt Arum really wants Donaire-Walters, though. It's just that Arum has promised Walters big fights and he at least has to make it look like he's trying to make a big one for him -- then mentioning him in the same sentence with Donaire is a classic Arum move to get people talking about a lesser fighter by floating the possibility of matching him with a bigger fighter. Mission accomplished, Bob.

Willie Nelson is injured, so his middleweight fight with Matthew Macklin is off for Dec. 7 on HBO. Vanes Martirosyan has offered to step in. I wouldn't expect HBO is thrilled about that replacement opportunity, given how Vanes has spoiled every opportunity he has received with the network.

Welterweight Victor Ortiz is preparing to make his return to the ring after a long layoff, and Golden Boy hasn't exactly been throwing many softies at him -- the latest is that they're matching him with Luis Collazo, who is tricky and difficult to fight. It will be Jan. 30 on Fox Sports 1, which would be the highest profile bout on that network since GBP started putting cards on for FS1. It doesn't make a ton of sense for GBP to do this with a commodity like Ortiz, but whatever, I'll watch.

The WBC is talking about Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. fighting super middleweight Sakio Bika, as though the WBC is unaware Chavez is with Top Rank and Bika is with Golden Boy and never the twain shall meet. Or maybe they're crazy like a fox and can envision where Bika drops the WBC belt and Chavez gets to fight some dope for the vacancy. Whatever the case, this is obviously an organization that commands the respect of fighters, promoters and media (eye roll).

Machines continue to whir and spit out "Dereck Chisora-David Price" for regional heavyweight glory, this time the British belt-sanctioning body. I still doubt it happens. The only side I've seen comment on wanting it is the Chisora side, and Price has some serious rebuilding to do before facing a heavy-hitting, iron-chinned type like Chisora.

(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene)




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