Alphabet Boys strike again
August 1, 2005
Some boxing news for a Tuesday morning:
n Just as I predicted a couple of weeks ago, the Alphabet Boys have figured out a way to ruin Jermain Taylor’s upset decision over undisputed middleweight champion Bernard Hopkins.
Not only is Maselino Masoe recognized as the WBA’s “regular” world champion (Taylor has been “elevated” to “super champion” status), but the IBF will strip Taylor and award its worthless belt to the winner of Sam Soliman and Kingsley Ikeke, who will vie for the vacant strap.
Hopkins exercised his rematch clause and will face the 26-year-old Taylor sometime in December, giving the IBF the only excuse it needs to seek a new “champion” and some more sanctioning fees.
n And let’s not forget the WBC, which really outdid itself when it stripped Francisco Javier Castillejo of his belt for wanting to face a legitimate contender in Fernando Vargas. The WBC wanted Castillejo to face Ricardo Mayorga instead and has chosen a twisted path of logic to enforce its decree.
Mayorga is somehow rated No. 1 at 154 pounds by the WBC, in spite of losing his last fight, at middleweight no less, to Felix Trinidad in eight one-sided rounds last October. Mayorga’s only had two other fights in the last 20 months – a win over forgettable Eric Mitchell in April of 2004 and a loss to former welterweight champion Cory Spinks in December of 2003.
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Piccirillo, who was the beneficiary of a horrific decision over Spinks for the IBF welterweight strap in ’02, lost the 2003 rematch to “The Next Generation” but has won his last seven fights against journeymen to earn the No. 2 ranking.
Vargas is rated No. 4 by the WBC and, amazingly, Castillejo isn’t even ranked. That said, the WBC has mandated a bout between the winners of Mayorga-Piccirillo and Castillejo-Vargas. If this is the case, wouldn’t it had made sense to keep Castillejo as champ and make the Mayorga-Piccirillo winner the No. 1 contender?
Then again, sense and sanctioning bodies are a contradiction in terms, sort of like mentioning Don King and model citizen in the same breath.
n Speaking of the Levitra-haired King, it should be noted he is Mayorga’s promoter and a good friend of WBC president Jose Sulamain. It should be remembered that along with the WBA, King’s majordomo, Sulamain, temporarily withheld recognition of Buster Douglas as the world champion after he knocked out Mike Tyson in 1990.
The well-documented incident took place at the behest of King, who protested that Tyson was the victim of a “long count” after he dropped Douglas with a desperation eighth-round uppercut before “Iron Mike” was eventually stopped in the 10th.
As the old Lowenbrau jingle goes, “Here’s to good friends, tonight is kind of special.”
n In some positive news, boxing fans will get treated to a rematch of the current Fight of the Year – and probably the best since Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns in 1985 – when lightweight champion Diego “Chico” Corrales meets Jose Luis Castillo on Oct. 7.
The pair’s May 7 duke-out ended when Corrales, after getting dropped twice by Castillo in the 10th, somehow turned the tables and stopped the tough Mexican in the same round. Rematches seldom live up to the original, but if it’s anything like the Tony Zale-Rocky Graziano trilogy perhaps we’ll be treated to something we’ll cherish the rest of our lives, a feeling not unlike what Red Sox fans experienced when Boston won the World Series and dispelled the Curse of the Bambino.
n Raise your hand if you think Hearns, who stopped John Long on Saturday, should continue his comeback. If you were one of the few who raised your hand, give yourself a good slap before dunking your head in the nearest sink.
Hearns will soon be 47, his speech has been messed up since Hagler beat him down and he looked like hell against Long, an unknown trial horse with an unimpressive 19-7-1 record.
What exactly is Hearns trying to prove? He was shot back in 2000, when he lost his last bout to Uriah Grant following an ankle injury. Although Hearns promised to return, he waited five years before facing Long, as if the break would magically twist back the merciless hands on Old Man Time’s watch.
Log onto http://www.fightnews.com and take a look at what Hearns’ body looks like now. Even though he’s got the remnants of his old six-pack abs, his skin is loose and he looks nothing like the young Hearns, who carried as much fat as a toothbrush.
Hearns, who won titles at 147, 154, 160, 168 and 175 (twice), is choosing to compete at light heavyweight. If he’s hell-bent on getting killed, wouldn’t it make more sense to go for a cruiserweight crown and a title in his sixth weight class (matching Oscar De la Hoya’s record, if you count his gift against Felix Sturm for the WBO middleweight bauble)?
n Hey, Tommy. We have a guy in Reno named “Koncrete” Kelvin Davis, who would be happy to step in the ring with you. Davis, it should be noted, is still recovering from a torn biceps muscle and hand surgery following his brave, but losing effort against Guillermo Jones in May.
n If I had a chance to put only one fight together it would be to match WBC super lightweight titlist Floyd Mayweather against De La Hoya. Mayweather could spot De La Hoya 15 pounds and still completely dominate him.
“Pretty Boy” Floyd is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and a victory over De La Hoya would give him the credibility he needs to some day be enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, N.Y.
If De La Hoya doesn’t give him a shot, here’s hoping that 140-pound world champion Ricky Hatton does. Hatton is one of only three fighters, including Miguel Cotto and maybe Zab Judah, that perhaps have a shot at ruining Mayweather’s perfect record.
n Contact Mike Houser at email@example.com
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