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Weekend Review: Interesting rumors

17
Jan

Jose Benavidez stopped overmatched Steven Cox in the first round in Benavidez's pro debut. Photo / Chris Cozzone-Fightwireimages.com</font

BEST RUMOR

Mayweather vs. Mosley: AOL Fanhouse reported that Floyd Mayweather Jr. is likely to fight Shane Mosley on May 1, presumably if Mosley beats Andre Berto on Jan. 30. Mosley would be a brilliant choice for Mayweather, whose tentative showdown against Manny Pacquiao on March 13 never materialized. One, he would still make an enormous amount of money. And, two, he will at least temporarily silence those who accuse him of dodging the most-qualified opponents. Some experts believe Mosley would give Mayweather a better fight than Pacquiao would’ve. And negotiations shouldn’t be overly difficult: The fighters are both handled by Golden Boy Promotions. Let’s hope it happens.

SECOND-BEST RUMOR

Pavlik vs. Martinez: Martinez reportedly is the leading candidate to be Kelly Pavlik’s next opponent, in April or May. The Argentine is coming off a controversial loss to Paul Williams in which he demonstrated he’s one of the most-complete and toughest fighters in the world, meaning this would be very tough fight for Pavlik. I wonder what will happen then Pavlik lands a big shot but Martinez displayed a good chin against both Williams and hard-punching Kermit Cintron. A victory over Martinez would be a nice step for a fighter trying to reestablish himself after a rough period. Anthony Mundine and Felix Sturm are among others Pavlik’s handlers are considering, Youngstown, Ohio's The Vindicator reported.

BIGGEST WINNER

Vanes Martirosyan: Martirosyan certainly doesn’t get an “A” for struggling to beat an aging Kassim Ouma on Saturday night. The former U.S. Olympian took plenty of punishment before winning a decision that closer than the one-sided scores indicated. However, it took guts to pull out that victory against a very determined and experienced opponent, who is not as good as he once was but seemed to be inspired against Martirosyan. For that reason, it was a good night and good stepping stone for the unbeaten Armenian-American, who is THE RING’s No. 9-rated junior middleweight.

BIGGEST WINNER II

Ouma: To call Ouma, 31, a winner in light of the fact he’s 1-5 in his last six fights might seem odd. However, the Ouma who showed against Martirosyan remains a capable fighter who could give many of the best 154-pounders trouble. He’ll probably never wear an alphabet belt again but can continue to make a good living as a credible opponent. His problem might be that he was too good for his own good on Saturday, meaning he might be avoided by big-name opponents after that performance. He should be proud of himself no matter what happens.

MOST-COURAGEOUS MOVE

Foreman-Cotto: Foreman, the new junior middleweight titleholder from Israel, could milk the belt for one or two relatively easy paydays. Instead, it looks as if he’s working on a deal to fight Miguel Cotto on June 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Some will say that Cotto, coming off his one-sided loss to Manny Pacquiao, is in decline and ripe for another defeat against a very good boxer. They might be right to a degree. I think Cotto is still formidable, though. This would give Foreman a nice payday but could also cost him his belt. And isn’t that the way it should be? The best fighting the best? Foreman should be applauded if he ends up fighting Cotto.

WORST MATCHUP

Hopkins-Jones: I think fans expect fighters to earn the right to take part in a big pay-per-view event, even a fighter as accomplished as Roy Jones Jr. That’s one reason the announcement that Jones will fight Bernard Hopkins on April 17 in Las Vegas doesn’t sit well with a lot of people. Jones was knocked out in the first round by Danny Green in his last fight. He’s 5-5 in last 10 fights without a significant victory during that period. In fact, he hasn’t had an important victory since a majority (and controversial) decision over Antonio Tarver in 2003. Those aren’t the credentials of a pay-per-view attraction. I'll never understand how anyone could get excited about this fight.

BEST START

Jose Benavidez: The 17-year-old prospect’s poor opponent, Steven Cox, could barely fight back on the Martirosyan-Ouma undercard. Regardless, Benavidez looked calm and patient in his debut. A strong wind could’ve toppled Cox but the left that knocked the sacrificial lamb to the canvas looked formidable. Keep an eye on Benavidez, who is trained by Freddie Roach. The teenager has held his own with the likes of Amir Khan in sparring, which says a lot about him. He’s also articulate, which will help in marketing him down the line if he continues to win.

BEST DECISION

Taylor pulling out of Super Six: A part of me will always believe that Jermain Taylor should never have agreed to take part in the Super Six Boxing Classic if he thought there was any chance whatsoever he’d pull out after getting knocked out, which is possible anytime a fighter steps through the ropes. He reneged on a promise by quitting. That said, it was HOW he was knocked out that serves as a mitigating circumstance. The image of Taylor lying semiconscious on the canvas, one arm outstretched, after he was KO’s by Arthur Abraham lingers in the mind. He also suffered a severe concussion. Thus, he was smart to walk away. He was doubly smart to leave the door open for a return if he feels better later on.

BEST NEWS

Nick Charles’ return: The popular broadcaster, who has been battling bladder cancer for five months, returns to the announcing booth for the Jan. 29 ShoBox: The New Generation card featuring Chris Avalos vs. Jose Nieves on Showtime. Charles said he’s 80 percent in remission and doctors have OK’d his return to work. Charles’ courage and grace through the ordeal has been an inspiration to both boxing insiders and fans. We wish him a complete recovery.

BEST QUOTE

Melissa St. Vil, a boxer who claims trainer Roger Mayweather beat and strangled her: “He did this to me.” She was pointing at photos in court showing injuries to her head, face and neck. Mayweather faces three felony charges.

Michael Rosenthal can be reached at [email protected]

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