A lot happened over the weekend. And we're not talking just in the ring. Words were said and accusations were shot back and forth. The following is just a small taste of what went on.
CHAVEZ JR. GETS FIRST BELT
Chavez Jr. earned the WBC middleweight belt after a major decision over Sebastian Zbik (114-114, 115-113, 116-112). It was a good effort from Chavez Jr., who’d been criticized in some circles for building a gaudy record (43-0-1) off weak opponents.
What does it mean? We hope it means a matchup between Chavez Jr. and Sergio Martinez. But based on what Bob Arum said about Martinez and his promoter Lou DiBella, that bout may not happen anytime soon.
Arum told Neutral Corner fiend and Examiner.com boxing columnist Michael Marley: “His promoter has to go out and build Martinez. [DiBella] has to get off his a— and stop waiting for HBO to build Martinez up.”
Recent wins over Serhiy Dzinziruk, Paul Williams and Kelly Pavlik would suggest DiBella has done a solid job with Martinez.
DiBella came back with some stinging words of his own, criticizing Arum for only promoting fights between boxers in his camp.
DiBella said to Marley: “So [Joshua] Clottey is a pay-per view fighter? [Antonio] Marga-cheato, who shouldn’t be allowed in a boxing ring, is a pay-per-view fighter? Shane Mosley, who just put on one of the worst pay-per-view fights in boxing history, is a pay-per-view fighter?
If there’s one thing DiBella has a point about, it’s Top Rank only promoting in-house fights. Manny Pacquiao made short work of the three aforementioned fighters. The only one of the three who put up a fight was Margarito, and his face paid for trying to go toe-to-toe with Pacquiao.
The Neutral Corner would love to see Martinez take on either Chavez Jr. or Miguel Cotto, another Arum fighter.
MORE PACQUIAO-MAYWEATHER NONSENSE
Reports of Floyd Mayweather turning down $65 million are true, according to Marley. Mayweather, according to Marley’s report, shot down an offer of $65 million from a Singapore-based consortium. Mayweather reportedly demanded an upfront fee of $10 million, something unheard of in boxing.
Can someone do the Neutral Corner a favor and call us when these two actually sign on the dotted line? At this rate, we’ll never see this bout happen.
Both sides have received criticism for not making the most anticipated fight in recent memory happen. The fact that boxing fans had to sit through Pacquiao make mince meat of Clottey, Margarito and Mosley is an embarrassment to the sport.
Now we’re going to have to watch Pacquiao make short work of Juan Manuel Marquez. Although Marquez gave the Filipino Congressman all he could handle before, this is a different Pacquiao. This is a bigger and stronger Pacquiao with the same speed he had as a lightweight.
If Marquez couldn’t lay a glove on Mayweather, what makes anyone think he will be able to do any damage to Pacquiao. Yes, this is a reverse in course. Earlier, this was a fight we actually lauded. But after further thought, all this will do is pad Pacquiao’s record.
As for Mayweather: Out of sight and out of mind.
WILL CARL FROCH FINALLY GET SOME RESPECT?
Carl Froch was solid in his win against Glen Johnson in Showtime’s Super Six semifinal on Saturday, although one of the judges clearly had some issues based on the scoring. Two judges scored the bout 116-112, 117-111 in favor of Froch, while a third (Nobuaki Uratani) had it 114-114.
What does it mean? Froch, the WBC super middleweight champ, will take on WBA champion Andre Ward in the Super Six final later this year. Froch has never gotten the respect he deserves, at least not in the United States. Adding Saturday’s night triumph to recent victories over Arthur Abraham, Andre Dirrell, Jermain Taylor and Jean Pascal should quiet any critics.
“Everyone is finally starting to acknowledge what I’ve done in successive fights,” said Froch. “It was a professional performance tonight, which I am proud of. “I did enough to win without taking too many risks.”
For Johnson, although still a solid boxer, it could mean the end of the road. Johnson will turn 43 in January. Johnson took the loss with dignity.
“My team has done a wonderful job with my career every since I teamed up with them,” said Johnson. “We have come up on the short end of the stick sometimes, and they have never given up on me.”
As for his opponent, Johnson didn’t make any excuses. “Carl can fight. He is tough,” Johnson said. “We look forward to seeing a great fight between the two men who have made it to the finals.”