â†µPac Man vs. Hit Man? â†µ
â†µNow that it looks like Manny Pacquiao will not be fighting Oscar De La Hoya this December, the talk from Bob Arum is focusing on Manny’s future, which according to the Bobfather includes a fight with Humberto Soto in November and then a mega-fight at 140 pounds against Ricky Hatton sometime in 2009. In other words, two fights that it’s next to impossible that Pacquiao would lose. Ricky Hatton, man, the big names just line up to fight that guy. He’s got the whole package: a brand-name, a passionate legion of fans, and the most alluring x-factor of them all – he stinks. One wonders, though, with all of these soft fights for Manny, whether he’ll make time for the legitimate challenge of a third fight with Juan Manuel Marquez any time in the near future. It took four years for the second Pac/Marquez fight – let’s hope it’s not another four years until the third. â†µ
â†µWho’s Ducking Who?
â†µJoe Calzaghe has been making noise this past week that his rescheduled fight with Roy Jones on November 8th will be his last, meaning, of course, that there will be no dream bout on the horizon between Calzaghe and Kelly Pavlik. Predictably, the war of words officially has begun as to who exactly is ducking who (whom?) in that equation. Pavlik’s team long has claimed that they wanted Calzaghe this fall and the Welshman backed away, while Calzaghe is now asserting that Pavlik turned him down twice in the past and so he doesn’t actually believe that Kelly’s team is serious about making the fight. The Welshman went on to say that Danish fighter Mikkel Kessler is much better than Pavlik and in that Calzaghe beat Kessler he would have no problem with Pavlik. â†µ
â†µMy take? Sounds like he’s running scared. I don’t think Calzaghe could hurt Pavlik even a little bit, and I think that Pavlik could seriously hurt Calzaghe. That fight might look a little like Margarito/Cotto, actually, with Calzaghe dominant in the early rounds but paying the price late. Then again, Calzaghe did eat some ungodly shots from Kessler, so maybe he could handle the onslaught of the Ghost and outlast him for a win on points. More than anything, I’m hoping that Calzaghe is posturing for a purse split with all this “Roy Jones and then goodbye” crap, because the Pavlik fight is one of the two or three fights out there right now that I’m dying to see. (Check out the first few rounds of Calzaghe/Kessler below, an absolute masterpiece for The Pride of Wales.) â†µâ†µ
â†µNo Margo, No Way
â†µSo said Oscar De La Hoya yesterday, reasserting that even with Pacquiao out of the picture he will not consider fighting Antonio Margarito for his farewell bout in December. At least he’s dropped the “I refuse to fight another Mexican” excuse from his rationale – now he’s going solidly with the “Margarito needs to fight Paul Williams” defense. â†µ
â†µNow don’t get me wrong – Margs probably should fight Williams, in that Paul the Punisher beat him last summer and remains the only man who’s conclusively beaten Margarito in the last 12 years. But isn’t it strange that Oscar suddenly has developed such an abiding concern for PWill’s honor? Hell, I didn’t even know they were friends. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.