This is the best. Our own Andrew Harrison got a new bundle of joy this past week, and there he is, already checking out his dad's work. "TQBR's youngest fan," Andrew said in the e-mail to me. This is the first time a member of the TQBR family has expanded his family that I know of, so congrats to Mr. Harrison on behalf of us all on the cute kiddo, whose face you cannot see here but is indeed cute (and shares his father's haircut). And the youngster has great taste: Andrew's my favorite current U.K. boxing scribe, and that's not just institutional bias -- if you aren't reading Andrew's dispatches, you're missing out on some wonderful writing.
To business: This edition of Quick Jabs mostly falls under the two categories in the headline, but there's a little bit more on The Ring championship policy and a bit of "fights in the works" in the Round and Round section.
Floyd Mayweather-Miguel Cotto, part I: Mayweather and Cotto sold 1.5 million pay-per-views the past weekend, according to HBO, so the figure's less in doubt than the time Golden Boy and Mayweather Promotions were the only ones with their names on the numbers for Mayweather-Victor Ortiz. That's good enough for #2 all-time for non-heavyweights, behind Mayweather-Oscar De La Hoya. Cotto surely helped as a standalone PPV attraction on his own, but this really should put to rest any notion that, one, Manny Pacquiao is a bigger PPV attraction than Mayweather in the United States, given that in all but one instance now when the two have faced common opponents, Mayweather has outperformed Pacquiao; and two, that boxing is "dead," or even dying. It's why I'm not doing a big analysis of the figures like I do sometimes -- those two things are incontrovertible. P.S., This isn't me taking Mayweather's side in any revenue split negotiations, because Pacquiao brings a great deal of the rest of the non-U.S. world to the table with his following...
Mayweather-Cotto, part II: Once upon a time I used to celebrate big gates like the $12 million/top-10-in-Nevada-history Mayweather-Cotto gate, just as another indicator of boxing's vitality. But now they just depress me. If the tickets weren't so god-awful expensive for big boxing events, they wouldn't make that much money, and god-awful expensive tickets shrink the boxing audience vs. increase it. Not good...
Mayweather-Cotto, part III: When Top Rank's Bob Arum, who promotes Pacquiao, said that Mayweather had a propaganda-like approach to things with his repeated insistence that Pacquiao had refused to take the drug tests he wants (Pacquiao has explicitly said he would), Arum had a point. When Arum compared Mayweather to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, all he did was undermine his own point and make Mayweather-Pacquiao yet more unlikely. Gah. At least we got Godwin's law out of the way for Mayweather-Pacquiao...
Mayweather-Cotto, part IV: This hardly needs to be said, but someone not being enough of a fan of Mayweather is no reason to murder them...
Lamont Peterson, part I: I really want to believe Peterson's excuse for failing a drug test, but I don't. I can't conceive of why he wouldn't disclose this testosterone injection thing before testing started; I can't imagine why he wouldn't remember it after his first positive test. I'm not even sure what the harm would be for him in having low testosterone. All of the major websites explaining the drawbacks talk about sexual performance and the like, and this "light-headed" stuff that they're peddling in the Peterson camp doesn't strike me as very convincing because I don't see it listed as a symptom anywhere...
Peterson, part II: It's fair to question all of Peterson's wins after this, and especially the one against Amir Khan since Peterson has acknowledged receiving the testosterone treatment prior to that fight. I also think it's possible that Peterson, who has struggled with low punch output at times, might have wanted to do something that would boost his energy for the biggest fight of his career and this was a one-time thing. Some have questioned whether there's a double-standard in the level of criticism Peterson has faced compared to the amount Antonio Margarito faced when he got busted cheating, but I see this as different in scale for two reasons: Margarito was, at the time of his bust, one of the couple biggest fighters in the sport and a consensus top-5 pound-for-pound guy, whereas Peterson was operating at a far lower level of the sport; and I've consistently held the view that steroid use has not proven as physically damaging to opponents at this date as loaded gloves have. If someone disagrees with the second part, that's fine. Just know that there's no double-standard. Both offenses upset me. One upsets me more. Many other fans feel the same way about performance-enhancing drugs vs. loaded wraps...
Peterson, part III: Based on what we know now, I'd like to see Peterson's win over Khan overturned. It might be...
Peterson, part IV: Golden Boy's Richard Schaefer and VADA (which conducted the testing) have had some back and forth about who should've gotten the test results and when, and without seeing the contracts and/or e-mails myself, I simply can't assess who's right. Schaefer's case is slightly more convincing to me, but I don't think VADA should be excoriated for this even if they're in the wrong. VADA is a new organization; if they messed up the communication side of things, it can be attributed to growing pains. Lawsuits seem a disproportionate threat...
Peterson, part V: The sheer amount of money lost as a result of Peterson-Khan II falling through is shocking. And it's surprising that insurance doesn't cover a failed drug test. Kevin Iole has the details...
Peterson, part VI: Khan's next fight is up in the air, but it could be junior welterweight Danny Garcia in late June or early July; lightweight Miguel Vazquez' name has been tossed around, too. Either fight works for me. Garcia would presumably have to drop his belt, but he ought to if he gets a shot at someone like Khan, which would give him more cash than facing mandatory challenger Ajose Olusegun. And if belts matter to Garcia, Khan could have one or two of them back should the Peterson-Khan I result be overturned. Also, Peterson-Khan II falling through means we don't have to witness the junior lightweight mismatch between Adrien Broner and Gary Sykes, and can instead proceed to the more defensible (but still not scintillating) match-up between Broner and Vicente Escobedo (all this stuff came from BoxingScene, basically; linking to every story about the subjects would take all night)...
Peterson-Mayweather hybrid: I haven't commented previously on this story by Gabriel Montoya about Mayweather's connections to a testosterone treatment guy not because of my past unpleasantness with Montoya, but simply because I'm not sure what to make of it. There's no smoking gun, but the connection raises an eyebrow, anyway...
Ring Magazine's championship policy: Ex-ratings panel colleagues Cliff Rold and Springs Toledo have both explained in their own ways what they find offensive about the new ratings policy, as I did here. Their takes are both well worth reading. Doug Fischer has elaborated on the policy here, and I have a few responses. One, I don't know how he estimated 99.9 percent of fans don't care about lineal championships, but while I don't think it's the main preoccupation of many boxing fans, I think his percentage is way off -- did all 0.1 percent of fans leave nasty comments on Ring's website over it? And what of all the fans and writers commenting negatively elsewhere, like on Twitter? And is it possible that the lack of linear, clear champs hasn't made some boxing fans ex-boxing fans, thereby affecting the percentage of boxing fans who care about lineal champs? It's also telling to me that one of the guys who runs Ring these days finds lineal championships so meaningless. It explains a lot of what happened in this policy. Another thing: I don't want to give this new policy a chance, as he encourages us to do. Maybe not every Ring belt will be offered to every #2 vs. #5 match-up. But the mere policy that it can suggests Ring might do it, and I can't see a single #2 vs. #5 match-up in Ring's current ratings that ought to deserve to be awarded a championship. If Ring isn't going to make use of this policy for these kind of match-ups, why even allow it in theory?
Round And Round
I am moderately interested in Andre Ward and Chad Dawson two lineal champs from nearby super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions fighting one another. I suspect fans would be more interested than most think, too, despite rightfully expecting a boring fight; they all expected a boring fight for Dawson-Bernard Hopkins II, too, and that fight did OK. It's true: Some fans want to see the best fighting the best even if it is boring. But those fans already will watch a Dawson or Ward fight. Both men would be better served facing an opponent who could force them into an action bout a la Cotto's role against Mayweather. And while I'm fine with HBO paying a decent-sized fee for Ward-Dawson, I suspect they'll overpay for it.
David Haye vs. Dereck Chisora is a heavyweight match-up that is almost a photo negative of Ward-Dawson. Rather than boring, it would surely deliver action and verges on the tawdry (as if their recent history wasn't enough, Chisora just claimed that Haye pulled a knife on him recently; Haye's response was classic). I wonder if everyone will think better of it with British boxing regulators threatening to pull licenses of anyone who participates.
Vanes Martirosyan, unsurprisingly, turned down a junior middleweight showdown with Erislandy Lara. His reasoning was bunk for reasons we've stated before. Martirosyan is clearly trying to get one big cash-out fight, perhaps knowing how vulnerable he is, and doesn't want to have to work for it as a result. Lara is now looking at Carlos Quintana or Anthony Mundine, two fights just on the verge of defensible with Quintana a little revived following his recent win and Mundine a somewhat talented fighter who is nothing but a tease. I'd pass for either fight appearing on HBO or Showtime (unless they could be acquired for a miniscule fee) but I don't know if Lara gets better opponents than this because he's the quintessential high-risk/low-reward fighter. He might want to take more bouts on other networks, keep his name out there, and maybe earn a fan base with his periodic exciting knockouts. I don't know if that gets it done, though, unfortunately.
(Round And Round sources: BoxingScene)
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