These are some of the fights I wish they’d make as soon as possible, whoever "they" are:
Roy Jones Jr. vs. James Toney: Better than the fight would be the buildup. Tape recorders would have to be set at Mach 2. Before their first meeting, Toney threw a steel chair at me at an MGM Grand press conference. He missed, surely on purpose. It was just part of the overall fun. Toney was in a funk for years after losing to Jones. He says he was in a funk even before the fight, scrapping with three women - wife, manager and mother. Buddy McGirt, one of the more astute guys around, says "James Toney in good shape would have beaten Jones." Wouldn’t it be fun finding out?
Jones vs. Chris Byrd: At last, Byrd has someone his own size to pick on. I know people who cringe at the thought of two defensive specialists sharing the same ring. They think the referee would throw more punches. Byrd says it could be a case where neither guy fears the other’s power and thus could be hellacious. Wouldn’t it be fun finding out?
Jones vs. Mike Tyson: You notice, everything starts with Roy. He’s the best, the best in a long, long while. Some of my gurus, like New York fight agent Johnny Bos and former featherweight champion Kevin Kelley, think Roy is the best of all time. Me, more than Roy vs. Tyson, I’d like to see those mythical matchups, Roy vs. Sugar Ray Robinson, Roy vs. Billy Conn, Roy vs. Bob Foster. Tyson, though, wouldn’t be fun finding out, not if we have to go through the usual prefight turmoil.
Lennox Lewis vs. Nobody: Go home, Lennox. You’re not what you used to be. Then again, who is? You deserve a long and wonderful retirement with the sun on your shoulders and your toes in the sand. You have been a positive force. Thank you. Go home.
David Tua vs. John Ruiz: Frankly, if I never saw either one of these guys again it would be too soon. But there’s that 19-second fracas in their history that makes this a compelling matchup.
Toney vs. Bernard Hopkins: I don’t care at what weight, either. They don’t have to fight. It’s another one of those matchups where the combat couldn’t possibly live up to the talk.
Hopkins vs. Sugar Shane Mosley: Actually, Bernard against any of a long list of guys - Oscar de la Hoya, Vernon Forrest, Ricardo Mayorga, Fernando Vargas, Winky Wright. Quickly. Bernard isn’t getting any younger.
Hopkins vs. Jermain Taylor: The epitome of the past vs. the future, though both might argue correctly they are also the present.
Mosley vs. de la Hoya III: I think there’s more money out there to be won. And I’d bet on Mosley for III, IV, V, all the way up to C, knowing he’d win IC (that’s 99, I think) out of C (a hundred).
Forrest vs. Vargas: Wouldn’t that establish the winner as a major player again?
De la Hoya vs. Ricardo Mayorga: What fun this would be. Of course, I’m not sure that Oscar wouldn’t need someone better than the self-proclaimed "greatest trainer of all time" in his corner. I mean, since Floyd Mayweather has taken over, Oscar’s power (except against the juice-soaked Vargas) has disappeared.
Mayorga vs. Antonio Margarito: This would be Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward IV. Problem is, you’d have to have another in the endless Don King-Bob Arum series of confrontations in order to make it.
Mayweather Jr. vs. Mayweather Sr.: Just kidding, although I’m sure Arum is sick enough to want to promote it. He could put it in Athens as a modern part of the Orestia tragedy. (Go ahead, look it up.)
Mayweather Jr. vs. Acelino Freitas: Or Joel Casamayor. Or Kostya Tszyu. Or Gatti. Or Erik Morales. What’s wonderful about these prospects is that Little Floyd does not duck quality opposition. He seeks it out.
Casamayor vs. Acelino Freitas: I’m one of those who thought the Cuban beat the Brazilian the first time. I think he’d beat him anytime.
Casamayor vs. Morales: My, my, my. Or Casamayor vs. Marco Antonio Barrera. Or Morales vs. Barrera III.
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Morales: Or Marco Antonio Barrera. Of
course, Morales and Barrera have proven they are virtually interchangeable, except Morales is bigger.
Rocky Juarez vs. Any Featherweight: In about a year, maybe less.
Rafael Marquez vs. Manny Pacquaio: Little guys deserve big breaks, too.
Eric Morel vs. Marc (Too Sharp) Johnson: See above.
Ivan Calderon (WBO strawweight champion and a treat for those who haven’t seen him yet) vs. Anyone Eddie Gaedel could post up. Calderon is a master at the art of self defense, yet fun to watch.
Well, goodbye Dolly. Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match.