Sad news to share today as this will be my final post on the About Boxing site.
While it's been a pleasure covering boxing for About.com, what I'll miss the most is the interaction with the amazingly passionate community of fight fans that have visited and contributed to this site since the late 1990s. You never ceased to dazzle me with your knowledge, humble me with your kind words and support, and startle me with your - at times - shockingly colorful commentary on the issues of the day.
Thank you, it's been a privilege.
As expected, Floyd Mayweather Jr. has selected WBC interim welterweight champ Robert Guerrero as his May 4 opponent at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. What was unexpected was the announcement that Mayweather would be leaving HBO for a big revenue-sharing deal with Showtime. Guerrero believes Mayweather - now 36 - is "ripe for the picking". Oddsmakers obviously feel otherwise as Guerrero opened as an 11-1 underdog.
The Guerrero fight is the first of what was reported to be up to six Showtime fights over the next 30 months. There's no shot Mayweather will suddenly start fighting that frequently as he has fought exactly twice in the past 30 months and his last six fights span a total of six years. Nevertheless, imagine how good it would be for boxing if it's pound-for-pound number one to be more active and to fight the opponents he should be fighting. Again, it's never going to happen, but if Mayweather were to face the following six opponents, he would lose the label of being more concerned with protecting his undefeated record than facing the best opposition. And, if he were to go 6-0, Mayweather could finally make a legitimate case for what he believes he has already achieved -- being the greatest of all-time.
Another welterweight beltholder, Robert Guerrero, was thought to be the favorite for the big payday ... until Mayweather tweeted "The negotiations for my fight are almost done. The front runner is IBF Champion Devon Alexander".
Alexander may, in fact, get the shot. Or Mayweather could simply be bluffing to get Guerrero to accept a small we purse. Either way, Mayweather, who turns 36 later this month, will have been out of the ring for an entire year when he steps into the ring in May. Will he begin to show his age? Or ring rust? Unlikely, but you never know...
Floyd Mayweather Jr. has indicated he plans on fighting twice in 2013, with the first bout taking place on May 4. All he needs to do now is pick an opponent. Speculation is that he'll face Robert Guerrero first and then Saul Alvarez later in the year ... assuming, of course, that both Mayweather and Alvarez win (and don't get injured) on May 4.
Once again, it's a schedule that doesn't include Manny Pacquiao, but many fight fans have stopped holding their breath for that match-up. In fact, the window for getting the general public excited about that fight is closing rapidly. Mayweather and Pacquaio avoiding each other in their respective primes - blame whoever you want - will go down as one of the biggest missed opportunities in recent sports history.
So - other than Pacquiao - who would you like to see Mayweather face on May 4? Robert Guerrero? Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez? Timothy Bradley? Someone else? Vote in our poll and let us know.
Undefeated Gennady Golovkin retained his WBA middleweight belt with a seventh round TKO of game but outgunned challenger Gabriel Rosado. Rosada was a bloody mess when his corner threw in the towel in round seven to protect him from any further damage.
Juan Carlos Burgos did more than enough to take the WBO junior lightweight belt from Roman "Rocky" Martinez ... but two of the three judges were watching another fight. After 12 rounds, it was clear to the crowd in attendance, watching at home and from ringside that Burgos was the new champ. Unfortunately for Burgos, only judge Waleska Roldan scored the fight accurately: 117-111 for Burgos. Judge John Signorile scored it a draw (114-114) and judge Tony Paolillo turned in an indefensible scorecard of 116-112 for Martinez. Incompetent and corrupt scoring continues to plague boxing, driving away it's ever-eroding fan base and preventing new fans from embracing the sport. It would be so easy to reduce the likelihood of horrible decisions if anyone with any power - promoters, sanctioning bodies, athletic commissions, cable TV networks, etc. - truly cared enough to make improving the quality of judging a priority.
One long-time fight fan from New York wrote in and suggested the following: "You might consider putting the email address of the NY State Athletic Commission [email@example.com ] on your site so people can email their displeasure with the judging of the Burgos fight last night. It's one thing to have this kind of outrage in Texas but for a NY judge in Madison Square Garden to give Rocky Martinez 8 rounds of that fight is an abomination."
I couldn't agree more: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mosley and Malignaggi were both hoping to fight Ricky Hatton, but when Hatton got knocked out in his own comeback from retirement, Mosley and Malignaggi went to Plan B -- fighting each other.
Mosley will reportedly early only $350,000 for the fight, his smallest purse in 15 years.
2012 was yet another year in which Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. failed to fight each other, but there were still plenty of great fights and fighters who had great years. Now that 2012 is over, it's time to vote for Fighter of the Year. The finalists are:
Nonito Donaire (4-0, 2 KOs)
Danny Garcia (3-0, 2 KOs)
Robert Guerrero (2-0)
Juan Manuel Marquez (2-0, 1 KO)
Brian Viloria (2-0, 2 KOs)
Who do you think was the 2012 Fighter of the Year? Vote in our poll.
At 33, it's hard to consider Povetkin a prospect but he's still largely untested (despite a 25-0 record with 17 KOs) and has seemingly been ducking the Klitschko brothers for several years. While he's unlikely to win, he is the most interesting/qualified opponent out there for Wladimir right now so hopefully this fight gets made "official" within the next few weeks.
1. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Marco Antonio Rubio, Feb. 4, HBO, 1.9 million
2. Bernard Hopkins-Chad Dawson, April 28, HBO, 1.6 million
3. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Andy Lee, June 16, HBO, 1.4 million
4. Adrien Broner-Vicente Escobedo, July 21, HBO, 1.4 million
5. Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout, Dec. 1, Showtime, 1.4 million
6. Nonito Donaire-Jorge Arce, Dec. 15, HBO, 1.3 million
7. Andre Ward-Chad Dawson, Sept. 8, HBO, 1.3 million
8. Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Miguel Cotto PPV replay, May 12, HBO, 1.3 million
9. Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez PPV replay, Dec. 15, HBO, 1.3 million
10. Danny Garcia-Amir Khan, July 14, HBO, 1.3 million
11. Erik Morales-Danny Garcia I, March 24, HBO, 1.2 million
12. Robert Guerrero-Andre Berto, Nov. 24, HBO, 1.1 million
13. Marcos Maidana-Devon Alexander, Feb. 25, HBO, 1.1 million
14. Adrien Broner-Antonio Demarco, Nov. 17, HBO, 1.1 million
15. Sergio Martinez-Matthew Macklin, March 17, HBO, 1.1 million
16. Saul Alvarez-Josesito Lopez, Sept. 15, Showtime, 1.0 million
Ward fought only once in 2012 -- a one-sided 10th-round TKO of light heavyweight champion Chad Dawson on Sept. 8. Now 2013 looks like it could be another one-fight year for the number two pound-for-pound boxer.