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Boxing Chronicles notebook: Pavlik, Cotto vs. Clottey, HBO, and more!

It would appear that two of Bob Arum's biggest stars almost have their next fights officially set in stone. WBC/WBO middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik will defend his titles against former WBC super welterweight champion Sergio Mora at some point in July. Once again, it's not Arthur Abraham, Winky Wright or Paul Williams, but I suppose we're allowing Pavlik one more gimme before mandating that he face the Wright vs. Williams winner or Abraham in order to legitimize his claim as the middleweight champion of the world.

WBO champion Miguel Cotto and IBF titlist Joshua Clottey will meet in a welterweight championship unification at Madison Square Garden on June 13, which is the eve of the Puerto Rican Day parade in NYC. HBO will televise. While Cotto isn't facing Shane Mosley, Clottey certainly remains seasoned and skilled enough to pose a serious challenge to Cotto. Cotto vs. Clottey is practically an even money fight that should make for interesting viewing, so I'm satisfied with this intriguing match up as well as the fact that it will be televised on HBO World Championship Boxing. Perhaps I'll even take the train right into Penn Station to see this fight live at Madison Garden!

The fact that Cotto vs. Clottey will be World Championship Boxing rather than PPV is further evidence that HBO is carefully weeding out fights that they will or will not accept on their network. When you look at HBO's boxing schedule, as well as the fights that have already aired on HBO this year, you will notice that Mosley vs. Margarito and Marquez vs. Diaz were both on HBO World Championship Boxing. Williams vs. Wright, Dawson vs. Tarver II, and Cotto vs. Clottey will all also air live on HBO's regular network rather than their PPV outlet. Floyd Mayweather's rumored return to the ring in July, as well as Bernard Hopkin's challenge of IBF cruiser weight champion Tomasz Adamek, are also being considered by the cable giant at this moment. The only fight in the foreseeable future that will be on HBO PPV is Pacquiao vs. Hatton on May 2, which is warranted given the fact that Pacquiao vs. Hatton is currently one of the most significant fights as well as the biggest and most anticipated event in the sport of boxing. Hatton is the world champion at 140lbs. Pacquiao is pound for pound the best fighter in the world. Both combatants are viewed as heros in their respective countries and have shown their ability to draw crowds to their events in the USA - particularly in Las Vegas.

This week on ESPN2 Friday Night Fights, former WBC heavyweight champion Sam Peter returns to the ring against Eddy Chambers. This will be the first fight on Peter's comeback trail from having suffered an 8th round TKO loss to Vitali Klitschko this past October, losing his WBC title in the process. We'll see how Peter looks physically going into this fight, whether he is in sufficient fighting shape or whether he's overweight and has had one two many dates with the refrigerator leading up to this fight. I think Peter is going to have his hands full with Chambers, but I am not yet ready to commit to a prediction. Tune in this Friday on ESPN2 to see the fight.

Another terrific title unification fight is coming up in a couple weeks, as WBC champion Timothy Bradley and WBO kingpin Kendall Holt meet in a super lightweight title fight on April 4th in Montreal, Canada. Bradley is coming off his upset title winning victory over Junior Witter in the UK, as well as a unanimous decision over Edner Cherry in his first title defense. Holt, the WBO rose from two knockdowns to score a 1st round TKO/headbutt stoppage of Ricardo Torres. He made a successful defense of his title by winning a close split decision over Demetrius Hopkins this past December. With less than two weeks to go before the fight, I have to go with Bradley by decision. I think he's a good little fighter who is gradually going to get better with experience.

WBC welterweight champion Andre Berto is likely to defend his title on May 30 against .... IBF super lightweight champion Juan Urango!?!? Isn't Urango a 140lber??? Isn't Berto a 147lber (a big one at that?) What happened to a Berto vs. Collazo rematch??? Come on, Andre!

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1 comments:

eallen said...

HBO is doing the right thing. It's way better for my cable bill!