Eric Armit, who is a Director of the CBC and its former Chairman, is renowned worldwide as an authority on boxers records and also as a satirical and cynical observer.
Eric Armit writes in his capacity as a boxing journalist and not as a director of the CBC. His views and comments are his own and have not been the subject of prior discussion or consideration by his fellow directors, nor form official CBC policy.
Larry Holmes to fight Azumah Nelson. No, don’t panic. It is not yet another worrying case of two old fighters not knowing when to stay away from the ring. Larry, under the banner of “Larry Holmes Enterprises” is reported to be scheduled to visit Ghana from July 30 to August 5 to celebrate African boxing and promote tourism. One of the events being arranged is a sparring session between the two great Hall OF Fame fighters. In addition Larry will tour some of the historic sites in Ghana and launch the Larry Holmes Museum of Boxing.
Still on African boxing, Zimbabwean Tinteyi Mharidzo has twice torn up the script on visits to South Africa. His record was at best modest when he was brought in as a victim for prospect Mike Schultz but against the odds, he has scored two stunning kayos. Although the facilities he has to put up with in Zimbabwe are very basic, he puts part of his success down to sparring with his wife. Schultz had a big reputation, in the ring and out, as he had previously been found guilty of killing a man in 2005, but any man who trains by sparring with his wife probably has very little to fear from anyone else.
Danny Green does not seem to be having much luck. After his first round demolition of Roy Jones you might have thought he was on his way to bigger and better things. Instead it was Jones who went on to get the big payday against Bernard Hopkins whilst Danny had to settle for an IBO cruiserweight title defence against Manny Siaca, and even then he had trouble getting sponsorship. A chance to get revenge in a return with Tony Mundine Jr would have been a money spinner, but Mundine has gone down in weight, and as Tony is the mandatory challenger to WBA middleweight champion Felix Sturm, that is no longer an option. Danny’s next fight is scheduled for July 21 against Paul Briggs. However, that has been plagued with problems as Briggs has had trouble getting a licence. Briggs, the former WBC light heavyweight contender, he twice lost majority decisions to Tomasz Adamek, has been inactive since February 2007. This will be a big fight for Australia, but a small one in a world context and it is difficult to see where Danny goes from here.
On the subject of licences, and refusals. It was good to hear that the Nevada Commission have refused to relicense Antonio Margarito. They have told Margarito that he must first apply to the Californian Commission, which suspended him for attempting to use an illegal substance on his gloves prior to the fight with Shane Mosley. Since he has served his suspension it is difficult to see how he can be refused by the Californians, but the original suspension should have been much more severe.
I guess at the back of his mind Miguel Cotto feels that he may have been an undiscovered victim of Margarito’s tampering, but the win over Yuri Foreman for the WBA light middleweight title has given Miguel a new lease of life. He originally talked about retiring on his 30th birthday in October, but now he feels he has another two or three years in him. He runs his own promotions group and has a couple of good youngsters signed-up, but like everyone around his weight he would love another shot at Manny Pacquiao-or a revenge opportunity against Margarito.
On the subject of revenge fights there are a couple of very good ones on the horizon. In Slovenia in September IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck puts his title on the line and faces his only conqueror, Pole Rafal Jackiewicz, and is looking for revenge for a split decision loss for Rafal’s European title in 2008. On August 14 in Panama WBA bantamweight champion Anselmo Moreno gives former interim champion Neohmar Cermeno a chance for revenge. Moreno made a successful defence against the Venezuelan in March, but only won on a split verdict, which would have been a draw but for a points deduction against Cermeno in then eleventh round, Cermeno’s only defeat.
By far the most intriguing one being mooted is a return between Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez. Williams beat the classy Argentinian in a non-title bout in December, but since then Sergio has beaten Kelly Pavlik for the WBC and WBO titles, so that is one to look forward to. In their last fight they traded first round knockdowns and one judge actually managed to score it 119-110 for Williams and one judge had it a draw at 114-114, which shows just how stupid it can get when you judge a fight as if it were a beauty contest.
On the subject of Pavlik, he has been named as a possible future opponent for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, which shows how far down Kelly’s star has gone and that of Julio Cesar Junior’s has risen, but beating John Duddy hardly make him a world class fighter. Journeyman Billy Lyell achieved that in 2009 and by just as wide a margin. Another opponent being considered for Chavez is the former WBA and WBC welterweight champion. Ricardo has been inactive since 2008 and recently lost out on a venture into MMA due to an injunction gained by Don King who claims promotional rights to the 36-year-old Nicaraguan.
French lightweight Anthony Mezzache is hoping to land a unique double-treble. Okay, that might need a bit of explaining. Mezzache was an expert at savate, and under that martial arts banner he was French, European and World champion. As a boxer he is already a former French champion and a former European champion and in currently No 2 in the WBC ratings so is close to a shot at a world title, which would give him a double-treble-ok all understood? Mezzache is part of the Team Mormeck along with Olympian Khedari Djelkif and is hoping to get exposure in the USA soon.
Joan Guzman is still trying to fight a weight division in which he can actually make the weight. The former undefeated WBO super bantamweight and super featherweight champion, now 34, has given up trying to make it at lightweight and says he is now aiming for a shot at the WBA interim light welterweight title against Marcos Maidana. I find it strange that someone wants to fight for the interim title and not the real title. It could be that Joan thinks national pride is at stake after Maidana so convincingly beat Joan’s fellow Dominican Victor Cayo.
Maidana’s next opponent is said to be DeMarcus Corley, which, if it is approved, is another piece of WBA chicanery as at the last time of reading Corley was not rated in their top 15. “Chop Chop” is now 36, and in the last 18 months has lost to such luminaries as Fariz Kazimov and Freddy Hernandez. However he did beat Damian Fuller in his last fight and even though it was loss No 4 in a row for Fuller, any excuse is a good excuse where a sanctioning fee is concerned, so don’t be surprised to see De Marcus “do a Lazarus” and suddenly be resurrected.
When Marcos Barrera walked away from his loss to Amir Khan in March 2009 some may have thought that it was the end of the line for the great little Mexican. However, a year can be a short time in boxing, and now Marco is in sight of a shot at yet another world title. In September he is scheduled to face former WBC lightweight champion David Diaz, and victory there would practically guarantee him a fight with WBC champion Humberto Soto and a chance to win a world title in four different divisions. Of course as they are both active again, there is always a chance of yet another Barrera vs. Erik Morales fight, although that is something that has had it’s time and another version would be one too many. Marco has already taken part in 25 world title fights, but another title would cap a truly great career.
We in Britain take great care with our young boxers to ensure they are not rushed, but they don’t do things that way in Mexico. The WBC No 3 welterweight Saul Alvarez is just 19 and has already had 34 fights; he turned pro at 15 and was fighting scheduled twelve round fights from the age of 17. Another coming through is Antonio Lozada Jr. He turned 20 in April, turned pro at the age of 16 and has had 22 fights with 19 wins by KO/TKO, twelve in the3 first round. He has been more protected than Alvarez with just one scheduled twelve round fight, but he is still very young by any standards