It’s a good fight month for boxing

Sep 1, 2009 5:01 PM
Pulling No Punches by Michael Katz |

Mayweather vs. Marquez best in Sept.

Once again, the boxing calendar leaves us to our own devices in filling this space. Obviously, we can’t revisit the old tried-and-true pound-for-pound ratings as nothing has changed since last week’s fish wrapper.

So rather than reprise the sad state of the heavyweight division, or moan about the officiating in Texas, let us sprinkle ourselves with magic resin dust, offset by the dot-dot-dots of wisdom, in a compilation of dis and dat.

We could start with polka dots, the threatened "Polish fight of the century," as billed by the world’s greatest promoter, between Tomasz Adamek and Andrew (Foul Pole) Golota. But let’s hope Don King doesn’t get to parade his quitter before us again and HBO somehow finds enough money to make a proposed bout between Adamek, the cruiserweight champion, and Bernard Hopkins.

Otherwise, Adamek will seek a payday in Poland against the most undeserving "fighter" in recent memory, and that includes John Ruiz.

There is another "heavyweight" bout coming up that is even farther below the radar, and deservingly so. James (Lights Out) Toney, whose electricity has been dimming for years, now 41 and long past his middleweight championship years, meets a pudgy journeyman, Matthew Greer on the Sept. 12 card headlined by an even bigger mismatch, Andre Ward and Shelby Pudwill (a name you just can’t make up).

At least Showtime will not show the Toney tune-up on a show designed to promote its super-middleweight round-robin (could you imagine, when Toney was at 168 pounds, that this division would one day supersede heavyweights?)

I didn’t watch the entire Paul Malaignaggi-Juan Diaz contest, but any match in which Harold (5-4-1) Lederman and Dandy Dan Rafael score it for one guy would seem to tip the balance in the other guy’s favor – except Kevin Iole, a scorer I trust, also had it for Malignaggi.

In any case, considering the trouble Juan Manuel Marquez had in the early rounds with Diaz this year, it would seem that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is in easy for his return. Okay, styles make fights.

Speaking of Mayweather (pictured), the Las Vegas cops, in reply to a shooting outside a skating rink where the Pretty Boy’s Rolls was parked, searched his cars and local mansion. Among the artillery, they also found a couple of bullet-proof vests, a clear indication that Mayweather isn’t as fast as advertised.

On the Sept. 19 undercard of Mayweather-Marquez, there is a very worthy semifinal, the rematch between Chris John, the featherweight title-holder from Indonesia, and Rocky Juarez. While all three judges had the first match 114-114, most other observers thought Juarez got a Texas hometown decision. Maybe, maybe not. At the end, Juarez was the one doing the real hurting and he seems an intriguingly live underdog in the rematch. More on this later, of course.

Don King, who has refused to promote any real talent he has under contract, such as junior welterweight Devon Alexander, goes out of his way to publicize the Foul Pole. King called Adamek and Golota "the two best Polish fighters in history," which is the worst Polish joke I ever heard. Golota has retired more often than Sugar Ray Leonard, most of the time while STILL in the ring. He quit during matches with Michael Grant, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis (well, he never really started that one) and, in his last appearance (we had hoped), last November against Ray Austin. And never mind the low blows against Riddick Bowe, which was another way of saying he didn’t want to fight any more.

I understand promoters, unable to sell fights to the major cable networks, have to scrounge together pay-per-view cards in order to keep their fighters busy. And I understand Bob Arum, to keep his real fighters busy, sometimes has to put them on the undercards of proven ticket-sellers like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but that doesn’t mean we have to take them as seriously as heavyweights. Glad to see California changed the TKO originally awarded to Tim Bradley to a "no contest" because the cut that forced Nate Campbell to quit was caused by an accidental head butt.

However, it should also be noted that losing the "victory" in no way diminishes Bradley’s outstanding performance against the former lightweight king. In my pound-for-pound treatise, I didn’t have room to mention that I once wrote Pernell Whitaker was the best in boxing "gram for gram." When Lou Duva told Pete about it, Whitaker looked straight at me and said, "Shame, shame."

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Michael Katz