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.
The fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather does not seem to be any closer. It seems to be down a case of deciding a date with Mayweather wanting May 5, and Pacquiao, and others, suggesting a later date. The problem for Mayweather, and therefore for those of us who want to see this fight, is that Mayweather was given a deferment from starting his 90 days in jail until June 1. There is no guarantee that this deferment will be extended, as there is already a "separate law for the rich" feel to what has happened. A large part of the argument by Mayweather's lawyers was that Mayweather fights have probably brought $1 billion in business to Las Vegas. There was also talk at an earlier hearing of Mayweather making a $100,000 donation to a breast cancer research foundation, but no mention of that was made at the later court hearing. If things are not settled soon, and Mayweather chooses to fight someone else on May 5 then on June 1 the deferment will have expired and Mayweather will go to jail for 90 days, probably meaning a fight with Pacquiao will not happen in 2012.
It seems likely we will find out within the next seven days what the future holds for Pacquiao, as Bob Arum has just returned from the Philippines talking dates and opponents with Manny.
This fight was red hot a year ago, but the longer it drags on the more chance there is of a banana skin (i.e. if Juan Manuel Marquez had beaten Pacquiao or Mayweather gets into more trouble, or does not carry out the obligations laid on him as part of the deferment) and the boxing fans may just be getting sick of all of the posturing. Another impact of this uncertainty is the number of leading fighters such as Tim Bradley, Saul Alvarez (who is already training for a May 5 fight), Lamont Peterson, Miguel Cotto, Robert Guerrero etc who are putting their careers on hold whilst waiting to find out if they land the big money that comes from facing Pacquiao or Mayweather.
The AIBA have announced that after the 2012 Olympics they will do away with the computerized scoring and go to a ten count paper scoring system. The computerized scoring has been very unpopular, but let's not forget why it came in. Back at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Roy Jones lost a disgraceful decision in the light middleweight final to local fighter Park Si-Hun, on a 3-2 paper score, meaning three judges had Park winning and two had Jones winning. The CompuBox statistics showed that Jones landed 86 out of 303 punches and Park 32 out of 188. The response from the AIBA was to go to the other extreme with a system based on punches landed and where a point would only be registered if a majority of the judges pushed a button when they were sure a punch had landed. They also adopted open scoring. It has led to the virtual death of body punches in the amateur game (more difficult to be sure whether they landed or not) and negative tactics. When a fighter knows he is in the lead going into the last round and spends the whole round running and holding. It remains to be seen whether the change works or not, as we are going back to a situation where it becomes a beauty contest. Personally I would have preferred them to make a staged approach with each judge pushing a button separately and no disclosure of the scores until the end because. Let's face it, the current scoring system in the professional game throws up controversy almost every week so it also is far from perfect.
If Sergio Martinez felt happy when the WBC ordered Julio Cesar Chavez to defend against the Argentinian, then he is back in the real life situation. Top Rank spokesman Todd DeBoef has said that if Chavez gets past Marco Rubio then the plan is for a fight with Miguel Cotto in July. Sergio Martinez? He is not a draw on TV so hard luck Sergio. Edgar Sosa will continue his campaign for another shot at the WBC flyweight title with a fight against William Uicab. Sosa, who lost to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam for the title in October, beat Rolio Golez on January 7, and is rated No 2 by the WBC. Uicab lost a final eliminator to Toshiyuki Igarashi in November and is rated No 5.
Still on Mexican flyweights the Commission in Merida have instituted a new award for the most promising fighter in their State. It is the "Miguel Canto" award. The great little "Maestrito" won the Mexican title and then added the title WBC in 1975. Miguel went on to make 17 defences during a run where he lost only once in 49 fights. The initial award went to young featherweight Miguel Berchel, 20, who is 12-0 with 10 wins by KO/TKO. It is now customary to give a show a "name". The Panamanian's have called the February 9 show there "Uncontrollable Madness" and topping the bill is Vicente Mosquera whose nickname is-"El Loco."
By the time Jean Marc Mormeck fights Wladimir Klitschko on March 3 it will be 15 months since he last had a fight. That is ridiculous. After that long a period of inactivity he should not even be rated let alone fighting for a title.
Vitali Klitschko may have had his tongue in his cheek when he gave his opinion of why the return with Lennox Lewis never came off. According to Vitali he came to London to talk to Lewis about getting the fight on. Lennox's brought his mother to the discussions and he noticed Lennox's mother sizing him up. Vitali came away feeling the deal could be done, but Lennox said no, and Vitali felt it was Lewis' mother who turned the fight down. "I can't come out to play, my mum won't let me" somehow I think not.
The WBO have refused to sanction the proposed fight between bantamweight champion Jorge Arce and Lorenzo Parra because "Parra is not in our ratings". Now when have the WBO ever let that stop them? Let's see now, how did Henry Weber get a rating so that he could have a fight with Robert Stieglitz for the WBO super middle title? Was it when he beat Valerijs Rogozins (record 1-2) in October 2010, or was it when he beat Luciano Lombardi (record 18-9-3) in April 2011, or when he just scraped by on a split decision over 37-year-old Stjepan Bozic in October 2011-or when the promoter set up the fight and they promptly rated Weber. At least Parra had drawn with Arce in a WBO eliminator in 2010 when only a point deduction cost him the win. The most disgusting thing is that the WBO have approved Giovanni Andrade, to fight Arce instead. Andrade is a 41-year-old Brazilian. In May last year he was floored and halted in one round by South African Macbute Sinyabi. His only fight since then was a win in Brazil in October against a guy with an 18-18-1 record. Guess what? Andrade is not in the current WBO ratings!! There was a disgraceful WBC title fight in the strawweight division on December 31 when Thai novice Yodgoen challenged Kazuto Ioka for the title. Their records looked similar (both 8-0) but Ioka had beaten Masayoshi Segawa (19-2), champion Oleydong (35-0-1) and Mexican Juan Hernandez (18-1). Yodgoen had beaten nobody. Not one of his opponents had ever appeared in the WBC ratings. Three of his eight opponents had no traceable record, three others could only manage a total of five fights between them, one fighter was 8-7 and the most successful was 14-8, and coming off a loss. Between April and December 2011 Yodgoen went from No 18 to No 10 in the WBC ratings. During that time he had only one fight-against one of the guys with no traceable record-and that earns him a place in the top ten in the World. The Ioka fight lasted 98 seconds!
Former WBA super feather and WBC light champion Joel Casamayor won't be fighting for a while. The 40-year-old Cuban tested positive for marijuana after his fight with Tim Bradley on November 12. The Nevada Commission revoked his license and fined him $10,000. He will not be able to reapply for a license for a year.
Victor Ortiz was also called before the Nevada Commission to explain his remark that he had tried to break Mayweather's nose when he butted him. According to Ortiz it was in retaliation for Mayweather using his elbows. No disciplinary action, so no suspension for Ortiz.
Heavyweight David Rodriguez will also be out of action for a while. The unbeaten Rodriguez was attacked outside a restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona. The attack left him with a huge gash from near his left ear along his chin line and up to the left side of his mouth. The injury required almost 100 stitches. Despite the severity of the injury Rodriguez hopes to be able to fight again in March.
Former WBC IBF super middle and WBC light heavyweight champion Graciano "Rocky" Rocchigiani was planning a comeback just for a return fight against Polish former IBF/ WBA/ WBO light heavy champ Dariusz Michalczewski, but Michalczewski has turned it down. These two met in 2000 when Rocchigiani challenged for Michalczewski's WBO title, and the Pole won on a tenth round stoppage. In his previous fight in 1998 Rocchigiani won the vacant WBC light heavy title and then got into a "no you didn't", "yes I did "argument when the WBC tried to steal the title from him. He sued the WBC and won a huge settlement that almost put the WBC out of business.
You can be sure that it will be a war when Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez meet in a return. Salido scored a huge upset when he stopped the previously unbeaten "Juanma" in eight rounds to win the WBO featherweight title. They are scheduled to clash on March 10 in San Juan.
IBF strawweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi finally looks set to return to the ring. Since winning the title by outclassing Mexican Raul Garcia in March 2010 Joyi has been in action just once. That was a disappointing no decision against Japanese fighter Katsunari Takayama in January 2011. They were supposed to fight in a return in October, but the sponsor backed out. A November date also went by the wayside, so there was a call for purse offers. The only bidder was South African promoter Branco Milenkovic with a purse of $26,000. There has been talk of the fight taking place on March 24, but Milenkovic has not confirmed that.
Refereeing can be a risky business in Germany. Not in Germany as a whole, but specifically those parts where Khoren Gevor happens to be fighting that night. Having already served a farcically short suspension for hitting a referee-he did it again. This time after his December points loss in fight against Baker Barakat. I hope they throw the book at him, but somehow I doubt it. It would be interesting if the referees decided not to handle any more of his fights.
Still on Germany, former undefeated WBO light heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer is scheduled to return to the ring on 28 January in Hamburg. It will be Braehmer's first fight since April 2010. The opponent will be Spaniard Jose Maria Guerrero, 35, who has a 29-2-1 record. His record looks good on the basis of the figures, but the opposition has been weak, and he has had only four fights in almost three years, so a gentle "test" for Braehmer.
Also on the Hamburg show will be Russian Denis Boystov. Rated No 4 by the WBC and WBO, he is playing catch-up after having spent most of 2011 out with an injury to his right hand. He faces Darnell Wilson who is suddenly in demand after his win over Juan Carlos Gomez in September. However, a wide unanimous points loss to Ondrej Pala is more in keeping with Wilson's record, as that Gomez win is his only one in his last eight fights. We are also talking of a guy who weighed 175lbs in his first fight and is now up at 220lbs. Other fights on the show will see Ruslan Chagaev meet Kertson Manswell and Ruslan Chakhkiev face fellow Russian Alex Kotlobay at cruiser. This for the Baltic title-and wonders will never cease-both fighters are actually qualified to fight for the title. That makes a change.
Former Olympic gold medalist Takao Sakurai died from cancer on January 10. Takao is still the only Japanese fighter to win an Olympic boxing gold medal. At the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Takao beat Britain's Brian Packer (4-1), Cassius Aryee from Ghana (5-0), Romanian Nicolae (5-0), Washington Rodriguez from Uruguay (5-0) and kayoed South Korean Shin-ho Chung to take the gold at bantamweight, A University graduate, Takao had to overcome resistance from the establishment to him turning pro, but he took off the vest and had his first paid fight in June 1965. He was fighting ten round fights from his second contest, and won 22 in a row. He lost a majority decision to Australian Lionel Rose (72-70, 72-71 and 72-72, this was a 15 round fight on a 5 point per round scoring system) for WBC and WBA bantamweight titles in 1968, and was stopped in six rounds by Ruben Olivares in an eliminator in 1969. He had five more fights before hanging his gloves up in 1970 with a 30-2 record. He would have won a world title in today's multi-title scene, but dies at 70 knowing that with his gold Olympic gold medal he is still unique amongst Japanese fighters. RIP Takao.
Japan did have a milestone to celebrate. It is my understanding that last December marked 90 years since the formation of the Kentoh Nippon Club, the first boxing gym in Japan. Incidentally, future world champions Alfonso Frazer, Bruno Arcari and Miguel Velasquez and other future professional stand-outs such as Jacques Marty, Franco Zurlo, Rudi Lubber and Tom Bogs all competed in Tokyo without getting a medal.
Last bit on amateurs I promise. Trivia coming up. If Nonito Donaire fought James Kirkland-who would win? If you said Kirkland you lose a point. At the US Junior Olympics in 1999 at 106lbs Nonito Donaire outpointed James Kirkland. Can't see there ever being a return match.
I guess each boxer has his own way of settling his nerves before a fight. However, not everyone has the literary bent of Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko. Light welterweight Serhiy (record 29-1) reads Fyodor Dostoevsky. No wonder his nickname is "The Professor". In Ghana they feel that WBO No 2 Braimah Kamoko is just one fight away from facing Nat Cleverly for the WBO light heavyweight title. Don't put money on it yet. A couple of years back a Doctor in Ghana alleged that Kamoko had serious eye problems. There were all sorts of threats to sue the Doctor, but nothing happened. The Ghanaian boxer came over to Britain some time back. My understanding is that whilst here he saw a Harley Street specialist, but he went home again without any application for a license being submitted. There could be all sorts of reasons for that, but you can be sure that he will have to pass the usual stringent medicals before being allowed to box here, so let's hope the Doctor in Ghana had it wrong.
Former WBA light welterweight champion Andriy Kotelnik has said he will have just one more fight and then retire. Andriy won the title from Gavin Rees and lost it to Amir Khan. His last fight was in August 2010 when he lost on points to Devon Alexander for IBF and WBC titles. The 34-year-old former Olympic silver medalist said that old injuries are taking longer to heal, so it is time to go.
Nicknames again. Denis Douglin, a fair quality light middleweight is known as "Momma's Boy". Nothing to do with his demeanor-he is actually trained by his mother. Fights to look out for: February 18 in Corpus Christi Tavoris Cloud defends his IBF light heavy title against 33-year-old former WBA champion Gabriel Campillo. Heavyweight Chris Arreola will also appear. No opponent named yet, but let's hope it is a bit more meaningful than his last six have been.
Puerto Rican prospect Jonathan Gonzalez has been added to the February 4 San Antonio show. There are three fighters with the name of Jonathan Gonzalez from Puerto Rico-this is the unbeaten super flyweight. The show already has Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Marco Antonio Rubio, Nonito Donaire vs. Wilfredo Vazquez and also Vanes Martirosyan vs. Troy Lowry (Lowry has lost six of his last seven, five by KO/TKO).
February 4 will be a big night for boxing with Scott Quigg vs. Jamie Arthur in Bolton and a show in Frankfurt with Yoan Pablo Hernandez vs. Steve Cunningham, Enad Licina vs. Alex Alexeev, Eduard Gutknecht vs. Vyacheslav Uzelkov and Mateusz Masternak vs. Mike Simms. On the night before Orvil McKenzie puts his Commonwealth title up against Tony Dodson in Manchester and Malawian Isaac Chilemba takes on Edison Miranda in Las Vegas. March 24 sees Zab Judah and Vernon Paris clash in an IBF eliminator at light welterweight. Judah is rated No 3 and Paris No 4.
Big show looming in Tasmania on March 7 with Daniel Geale defending his IBF middleweight title against Ghanaian Osumanu Adama and Billy Dib defending his IBF featherweight title against Mexican Eduardo Escobar Finally Muhammad Ali hit 70 on January 17. Many happy returns to "The Greatest".