A lot happened over the last 10 days in boxing. And not just Bernard Hopkins making history with a unanimous-decision win over Jean Pascal and becoming the oldest boxing to win a professional title at 46. The Neutral corner will try and sort through some of what transpired.
No Bradley vs. Khan? Why?
It must’ve been a misprint when ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael reported that WBC and WBO 140-pound champion Tim Bradley turned down a $1.4 million payday to fight WBA champ Amir Khan. Mind you the $1.4 million was just the purse. Khan offered Bradley a piece of the British TV rights. Yes, we know Bradley has had some issues with his promoter Gary Shaw, but to turn down that kind of money is insane, especially when you consider there’s no shot he gets a chance to fight Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather for what would be a monstrous payday.
It doesn’t hurt Khan as much. He can move on and fight any number of opponents, whether it’s a rematch with Marcos Maidana, a bout with IBF 140-pound champ Zab Judah or a fight against Robert Guerrero. Either one of those fights would be exciting. A Khan-Judah fight could draw a big crowd at the Prudential Center in Newark, although it’s unclear if Khan would want to fight Judah in his own backyard.
What happens with Jean Pascal now?
He can forget about a rematch with Chad Dawson or Bernard Hopkins. At least until 2012. Pascal’s loss to Hopkins wasn’t a career-ender, but it certainly set him back a bit. Don’t be surprised to see Pascal dip back down in the super middleweight ranks. Once Showtime’s Super Six concludes there will be a long list of fighters who could be available. He could fight the winner loser of the Super Six Final, which will be Andre Ward, Glen Johnson or Carl Froch. Froch handed Pascal his first loss in 2008.
Pacquiao vs. Marquez III
No one is shocked at this. Well, maybe we’re shocked at the timing of it. This is a fight that probably should’ve taken place in 2009. But we’ll take it, especially since there was no chance Pacquiao and Mayweather would’ve fought this year. Sure, Pacquiao could have looked somewhere else for a bout, but this fight is guaranteed to generate ratings and money. Pacquiao won a controversial split decision the last time they fought March 15, 2008. The two fought to a drew in their first bout in 2004.
A sign that the NFL lockout could end soon?
Baltimore Ravens safety Tom Zbikowski pulled out of a June 4 matchup against Mike Howell so he can “transition” back into football, according to the LA Times. Zbikowski was 4-0 as a cruiserweight. Zbikowski told the LA Times in a text message that his teammates were beginning to hold voluntary organized workouts.
So much for making MMA and boxing history.
MMA star and Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz has decided not to take on former IBF super middleweight Jeff Lacy in a boxing match. It would’ve been the first time an MMA fighter stepped into a boxing ring to take on a professional fighter. Boxers have made the leap into the MMA ranks (James Toney), so have football players (Johnnie Morton).