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.
Learning that the Californian Commission had refused Antonio Margarito’s application to be re-licensed almost restored my faith in boxing administrators. I say almost because even as I write it is probable that the Texas Commission will enthusiastically greet Margarito and not even hesitate before licensing him. For the State it opens the door for a Manny Pacquiao vs Margarito fight to take place at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. For observers of boxing is again stresses that money does not just talk in boxing, it shouts loud enough to drone out anything else.
The Nevada Commission took the correct stance of refusing to consider a licence application from Margarito until he had gone in front of the California Commission for his licence hearing with the State that placed the original ban on him. The Californian Commission quite rightly took into account Margarito flaunting of their ban by fighting in Mexico, and his refusal countenance the thought that he done anything wrong, and they refused to lift the ban by a 4-1 vote, with the Commission Chairman being the dissenting vote. Chairmen should not vote, at least that is what I was told recently.
It was disappointing that even after the Californian Commission had refused to re-instate Margarito, the Associations of Boxing Commissions (ABC) issued a comment that other Commissions were now free to consider granting Margarito a licence, which was almost an invitation to other Commissions to take no account of the decision by California. The ABC may have felt it was okay to do this as it was not a medical suspension, only a case of a intent to commit criminal assault!
This, together with the certainty that Texas will issue Margarito with a licence-and let’s not forget that Texas also licensed Edwin Valero whilst he was under suspension in New York and California-highlights the lack of any real commitment to working together or any semblance of national control of boxing in the USA, and also why there will never be a national Commission. For there to be a national Governing body with real power, the individual States would have to relinquish their power, and that will never happen.
The Pacquiao vs Margarito fight will be a big draw wherever it takes place, but it is a sign of changed times that the only fighter with a stature anywhere close to that of the little Filipino is Floyd Mayweather Jr. America still has some champions such as Steve Cunningham, Tavoris Cloud, Andre Ward, Tim Bradley and Devon Alexander, and names such as Bernard Hopkins and Shane Mosley, but apart from Mayweather none of them are big enough names to carry a show on their own. More and more the USA is filling the role of cash cow for overseas fighters. The USA no longer has the fighters, but because of the huge TV revenue they have the fights.
As if to demonstrate the shift in power, Team Saureland are planning to stage a cruiserweight version of Super Six. This series is to have as its protagonists Marco Huck, Steve Cunningham, Kris Wlodarczyk, Denis Lebedev, Yoan Pablo Hernandez and one other top fighter. All five of those named have strong promotional ties with Germany and if it flies it will be a good series.
The Sauerland team suffered a blow with Mikkel Kessler having to pull out of his next bout against Allan Green in the Super Six. Kessler has stated that he has had a long term eye problem which affected him during both of his previous Super Six fights against Andre Ward and Carl Froch and thatDoctors have advised him to take a break from boxing until it heals. This means that the SHOWTIME will need to find a replacement, to fight Green, who is himself a replacement for Jermain Taylor. The best laid plans……………
One fighter who will be missing is WBA cruiserweight champion Guillermo Jones. After not having yet defended the WBA title since beating Firat Arslan in September 2008, Jones was finally warned to defend or be stripped. He is now in training for a defence against Russian Valery Brudov on October 2 in Panama. Even if Jones was not tied into this defence I have serious doubts as to whether Don King would have allowed him to enter the Super Six at cruiserweight, as King would then stand to lose control of that WBA title.
It was sad to read of the current condition of former WBA heavyweight champion Mike Dokes. After he beat Mike Weaver for the WBA title in 1982 Mike literally bathed in Champaign. However, he only held the title for nine months and during his reign had already started down a very slippery path outside the ring. In 1986 he spent some time in jail for trafficking in cocaine. In 1998 he was arrested in Nevada for assault on his girl friend. He pleaded guilty to attempted murder and second degree kidnapping and was given a ten year sentence, being paroled in 2008. Now 53, but looking at least ten years older. Mike was in his home State for inauguration into the local Hall Of fame. He is battling liver cancer, which is a more important fight than any he had as a pro.
There may soon be another Tszyu on the pro boxing scene. Kostya’s son was due to defend his local Golden Gloves title down in Australia. Only 15, young Tszyu is unbeaten in his 15 junior fights. The former world light welterweight champion has said that he does not want his son to box in the seniors as an amateur, so presumably he is going to let him turn pro when he is 16.
Some nicknames are pretty silly, but how about the Indonesian who recently fought for the IBF Pan Pacific super featherweight title, his name was Fony Sony. It sounds like a knocked off TV set.
When Willie Limond faces Erik Morales he will part of the centre piece to a big show at the Plaza Mexico, Mexico City. Apart from Willie’s fight the show will also feature five other title fights with former WBC light fly champ Edgar Sosa, Juan Carlos Burgos, Daniel Estrada, Ramon Ayala and Carlos Cuadras all vying for various minor titles. I don’t have the names of all of their opponents just yet, but then that is what they will be-opponents-or for that read victims.
The Mexican papers have been full of how hard Morales has been training and his ambition to win another world title, and he seems to have studied a lot of films of Willie in action so he is giving my fellow Scot plenty of respect, but who knows what will happen when the bell rings.
The WBA Convention in November will feature a big tribute to the great Alexis Arguello, one of the truly great fighters who was a gentleman out of the ring. It was announced that both David Haye and George Foreman were going to attend. It suddenly had me thinking of an alternative to David Haye vs Audley Harrison, why not David Haye vs George Foreman, and then luckily I awoke from my nightmare, to find I was left with only David Haye vs Audley Harrison. I guess a bad dream is better than a nightmare.
Russian giant Nikolay Valuev is one opponent who will not be on David Haye’s immediate agenda. The former WBA champion, who was outpointed by David for the title last November, needs an operation on his shoulder, and will be out for six months.
Still on heavyweights, the camp of Russian Alex Povetkin have strenuously denied claims by Teddy Atlas that he withdrew Povetkin from the proposed IBF mandatory title challenge to Wlad Klitschko because he did not feel Povetkin was ready yet to face Klitschko. The Russian’s management team have stated that circumstances, including a death in the family meant that Povetkin would find it hard to get in the required condition for the challenge and this is why they allowed the deadline for signing the fight contracts to lapse.
More sanctioning bodies seem to pop up every week. The latest is one calling itself African Golden Gloves Warriors (AGGW). They are scheduled to have their title inauguration on a show in Ghana soon. The place the show was going to be held was the "Prison Canteen". It is probably the name of an event hall, but I did feel it was appropriate considering how some sanctioning bodies operate.
Panamanian Miguel Acosta is scheduled to defend his WBA secondary title against Mexican Ricardo Dominguez in Chetumal on September 25. It is not a bad fight on paper, but as usual Dominguez qualified by the standard route, he lost his last fight. He challenged Humberto Soto for the WBC title in May and lost by eight points on two of the judges cards, but that’s boxing for you. To the loser goes the rewards.
A couple of other matches announced will see Wilfredo Vazquez defend his WBA super bantam title against Mexican Ivan "Choko" Hernandez in Kissimmee on October 11 and Jorge Linares face the former WBC lightweight champion Jesus Chavez in Tokyo on October 24. Both Latino’s are appearing it what might be described as home away from home. Puerto Rican Vazquez had had 16 of his 20 fights in Florida, 13 in Kissimmee, and Venezuelan Linares, a former WBC featherweight and WBA super featherweight champion, has had 20 of his 30 fights in Japan. Hernandez is a former WBO super fly champion who has had two previous shots at winning a version of the super bantamweight title. Both Vazquez and Linares should win comfortably.