Dan Rafael rightly rips Bob Arum in this opinion piece for limiting Pacquiao’s options to Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. Arum wants to keep the fight in the Top Rank family, although he won’t come out and say it publicly. So we’re probably going to get a fairly unintriguing matchup with someone Pacquiao already soundly beat, or with a disgraced fighter who got his butt kicked two fights ago, even though there are much more intriguing matchups available.
I’m not posting this because I agree with the statement. We’ve said our piece, and believe that both parties are at fault here. But I want to point out that by firing the first shot, Pacquiao and Top Rank seem to have won the battle of public opinion on this one. Headlines like this have been common in many mainstream news sources.
After Timothy Bradley called out basically every good fighter from 140 – 147 on Saturday, he’s had a few interesting responses. While he wants Pacquiao, that ain’t gonna happen. Instead, Amir Khan tweeted that he’s telling Golden Boy that he wants a Bradley fight next. We’ll see if his handlers let him go in that direction, but it would be a great fight that could elevate the profile of both fighters. It also makes sense because Bradley has some name recognition in the U.K. after beating Junior Witter on foreign soil. Elsewhere, Lou DiBella has mentioned that he has reached out to Gary Shaw about setting up a fight between Bradley and Andre Berto. Either way, it looks like Bradley will have some very good options on the horizon.
In a move that seems kind of dumbfounding to me, Paulie Malignaggi has paid a high six-figure buyout to split with Lou DiBella as his promoter. DiBella is the man who was able to bring him a number of very big fights, despite not having much power or being an elite boxer, and is probably the most influential promoter in New York at the moment, where Malignaggi has his biggest fan base. DiBella has promoted Malignaggi for his entire career. Malignaggi says he’s going to be looking on the European market, where his style is more similar to other fighters in his weight class. He also says he wants to win a European title, which frankly I don’t think he’s eligible to win. Don’t be too shocked if he ends up signing with Golden Boy, who’s made a habit of signing faded fighters near the end of their careers, and who just entered into a long-term deal to put on three cards a year in Brooklyn starting in 2012.
Povetkin had originally been resistant to attending the press conference at all since he’s training in the U.S., but agreed to one a couple weeks ago. Of course, a day before, he comes down with a sinus infection and says he’s unable to fly. Hopefully he shows up to the actual fight, unlike Wladimir’s last several opponents. If nothing else, it made for some amusing photo ops as Wladimir posed with acardboard cutout of Povetkin.
Danny Green and Paul Briggs are slated to face each other tomorrow morning in a cruiserweight IBO title fight. In the contract, they had agreed to a catchweight of about 184 pounds, but Briggs flouted that limit and weighed in at about 192. While one can understand Green’s anger, this should have been expected if there wasn’t a contractual penalty – it IS a cruiserweight fight, so the commission can’t fine him, and the fight is still for the title, as long as he weighs less than 200 pounds. If Briggs can win, he’ll capture that belt, which actually means something in Australia, one of the few places where the IBO is recognized as a major title.
Electronic Arts has unveiled the next game in its popular Fight Night series. It’s expected to feature 60 to 65 real fighters, and spokespersons have said that it will feature a new single player mode that will be unique among sports games and ‘not something people would expect’. Let the speculation begin.